KUALA LUMPUR: As China reopens its doors and relaxes its travel restrictions, large numbers of Malaysians are planning to visit China, with the queue applying for a visa at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center here starts to form as early as 3 a.m.
The visa office of Embassy of China in Kuala Lumpur allows applicants to wait at the ground floor reception area first before queuing up outside the office’s entrance at fifth and sixth floors at 7.30 a.m.
Applicants are only allowed in at 9 a.m. when business hour starts.
The queue started to form past midnight last Friday.
On Monday, Susan Yep arrived at the reception area of the Chinese Visa Application Service Center at 6.16 a.m. to join the queue.
A tour guide, Yep is also an agent helping others apply for their China visas.
Due to the large number of tourists planning to visit China, appointment slots for visa application have now reached October, she said.
Another applicant, Ms Xu, had to travel from Penang to Kuala Lumpur as the appointment slots for the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Penang has reached end of October, and she needs to attend a meeting soon in Zhuhai, China.
Replying to a query from Sin Chew Daily, the Embassy of China said the number of appointment slots for visa applications had increased from 400 to 1,600 daily since January.
As of end of August, a total of 130,000 visa applications had been processed.
Of the total, 30% were for multiple entries.
To cope with the increasing number of visa applications, the embassy said it had extended the service hours, cancelled lunch break, increased manpower and the number of counters to cut down applicants’ waiting time.
For more urgent cases, applicants can use the green lane to secure earlier appointment dates.
Members of the public are advised to start visa application a month before visiting China.
For queries e-mail [email protected]. The visa center will reply within 24 hours.