How I got a Chinese Visa without an Income Tax Return

How I Got a Chinese Visa without an Income Tax Return

This post is about my own experience in applying for a CHINESE TOURIST VISA in the Philippines. For all other visa types (business, student, family visit, etc), kindly refer to other resources 🙂

In October 2016, I won round-trip tickets for two to Shanghai courtesy of Air Asia. It was very exciting, considering that Shanghai is part of my list of Top Skylines I Wanted To See with My Own Eyes and also a shooting location for one of my all-time favorite films — “Her.

But, alas, one thing worried me: I would need a Chinese Visa. And my previous experiences with visa applications (once for the U.S. when I was 8 years old, and another for Australia when I graduated college — both times by my parents) were disappointing. Only the difference now is, I will be doing everything by myself with no reliance on my family.

But what do you know? I GOT IT!

chinese visa without income tax return

*cue happy dancing unicorns and rainbows of relief*

Preparing for the application wasn’t exactly a breeze for me, though.

I’ve spent many nights researching about visa applications because I didn’t want to lose this opportunity by being ignorant and repeating any mistakes. It didn’t help that the blogs I’ve read regarding Chinese visas all said that one’s bank account had to have at least 100,000-200,000 pesos in it in order to qualify for one, which I found absolutely ridiculous (read more about “show money” here) if I’m only going to Shanghai for a couple of days. Nowhere in the embassy’s official website stated that six figures was a requirement (though of course it wouldn’t hurt!). But it still stressed me out. I had enough to bring on the trip of course, but it had me over-thinking just in case the rumours were true… Moreover, I also didn’t have an ITR (Income Tax Return) nor anyone to ask sponsorship from.

So how was I granted a visa? I don’t exactly know what tipped the scales in my favor, but if you’ll read on, perhaps you’ll learn some helpful tips from what I did!

Who will find this guide helpful?

It will be most helpful for those who are:
• freelancers or home-based contractors / remote workers without an ITR yet who are curious about obtaining a visa;
• and honest, sincere people who genuinely want to travel for tourism purposes and have no intention of illegally working or overstaying their visit.

What are the basic requirements needed for the Chinese visa?

(Note: please always double-check and verify this list with the official one at the Chinese Embassy’s website as they may update it without notice)

1) Passport – Original passport that is valid for at least another 6 months with at least one blank visa page, a photocopy of the passport’s information/photo page and emergency contact page. The previous old passport, if available, is required to be submitted.

2) Visa Application Form – Submit truthfully-completed and signed Visa Application Form of the People’s Republic of China. Please type the answer in CAPITAL ENGLISH LETTERS in the space provided. DO NOT leave any field blank. Type N/A if the item does not apply. Application form of minors must be signed by their parents or legal guardians. Use a program like Adobe Acrobat Reader to digitally fill in the form and then print it along with everything else.

3) Photo – Provide 2 color photos and affix one of the photos on the Application Form. The photo should be recent, front view, white background, in 48mm x 33mm size without head covering. (Specific photo requirements, please click here). It’s important to glue your photo onto the application form as stapled/taped/clipped/detached photos will NOT be accepted.

4) Printed flight itinerary / reservation of round-trip airline ticket. Most people purchase their tickets ahead of time because of promo fares. Otherwise, if you don’t have that, save yourself the expensive risk of getting rejected and avail of this legit flight reservation service.

5) Printed hotel booking. Find accommodations that offer FREE CANCELLATION on

6) if applicable, an Invitation Letter (please see the full remarks here) from China and the photocopy of the inviter’s Chinese ID/Passport with Chinese Residence Permit.

If this is your FIRST TIME applying for a Chinese Visa, you’ll need to provide these additional requirements:

A) Bank Certificate of Deposit Balance (including the past 6 months bank statement) and the receipt for payment of this certificate. There is no fixed amount required in your bank account. You just have to make sure that your daily itinerary / schedule of activities / total cost of your trip matches your budget.

B) BIR-stamped Income Tax Return Form;

C) Certificate of Employment — detailing the position, salary, and length of employment as well as the dates of your granted leaves for the trip. For freelancers, perhaps you can provide your contracts with current clients;

D) Business Registration Certificate (if you are the owner);

E) Professional ID/Student ID (if applicable);

F) Other relevant documents proving the applicant’s economic condition/ employment/study, or supporting the applicant’s travel to China, or explaining the travel purpose. Basically, it’s always better to over-deliver and provide any proof that you do not intend on doing anything illegal in China and that you will return to your country within the number of days allotted to your stay, as well as have sufficient funds for your trip.

If you have ALREADY OBTAINED a Chinese Visa before, you should submit a photocopy of the visa, and if the visa is on your old passport, you should also submit the old passport.

Finally, I also highly recommend a Cover Letter/Letter of Explanation and detailed Itinerary & Budget of your trip (which I did!). You’ll see why in the following:

Writing a Letter of Explanation

As someone who works online, I did not have an ITR to provide and even if I worked towards getting one, there wasn’t enough time to do it before my scheduled flight, much less the visa application. This is where a Letter of Explanation comes in. I took it a step further by mentioning:

• the AirAsia award letter for my complimentary roundtrip flights;
• why I want to visit Shanghai;
• the exact dates of my flight and duration of stay;
• the countries I have visited and promptly returned from in the last 12 months (which can be verified in my passport);
• the reason I don’t currently have an ITR to show (which is my online work situation); furthermore backing my financial capability up by stating that I do get paid a monthly salary by my employer and attaching the signed COE (Certificate of Employment), including a screenshot of the recurring payments I receive via PayPal;
• And finally, an attached Itinerary & Budget for Shanghai that details the total expenses for the trip and the amount I will be bringing.

Planning an Itinerary & Budget

Why is it important to prepare an itinerary and budget? How much money should you have in your bank account? Well, that depends on how much the entire trip is gonna cost you, and your itinerary and budget will go hand-in-hand with what your bank documents will show. Let’s say you plan to spend 10 days in Shanghai going on all the big tours and staying in 5-star hotels. That 50k in your bank simply isn’t going to cut it! To be safe, you should have at least double the amount of your projected expenses i.e. if the entire trip will cost 30k, have at least 60k in the bank.

If you want a sample Letter of Explanation and Itinerary & Budget template, just sign up in the Subscriber Squad form below + leave a comment on this post, and I’ll grant you access to it!

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Going to the Chinese Embassy

There is no appointment needed. Just show up in the embassy (presently at the World Center building in Makati) between 8am – 11am, Monday to Friday. The door staff will check for your complete documents then hand you a number. Wait until it’s your turn to go up to the window and present your documents to the Consul. He/she may ask a couple of questions. In my case, he was looking for my ITR so I let him know that there is an attached Letter of Explanation for that. After that, you’ll be handed a slip containing the date of when you’ll be collecting your passport.

Regular processing time: 4 business days 
Single-Entry Visa: Php 1,400 
– You can only apply for Single-Entry if you are a First Time Applicant.
– Rush processing fees apply. Same goes for Double-Entry or Multi-Entry visas. Please refer to their website for the fees.
– Only cash payment is accepted.

Since I submitted my application on a Monday, I came back on Thursday to collect my passport. I took a number for the line at the cashier to pay the visa fee. After paying, I kept the receipt and waited for my turn to go up to the consul’s window and be given my passport back. The moment of truth! I frantically flipped through the pages of my passport until I saw the Chinese visa and felt a wash of happiness and relief over me.

Final Tips

Just a quick reminder that even after going through the whole process above, I don’t have the authority to 100% guarantee a visa approval. I’m just sharing what I know so far to score a higher chance and as always, do try to leave them with little to no reason why they shouldn’t grant you one! I did my best to really get this Chinese visa for the first time because 1) it will be a lot easier to acquire it a second time once you’ve already obtained one, and 2) I needed this boost in morale for other visas I will be applying for very soon, too.

One more thing if you’re headed to China: as you’ll know, the country has blocked plenty of websites & social media, so you’ll need to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in order to have access to and be able to upload that awesome snapshot on Instagram or Facebook. VPNs typically cost $8-$14 per month depending on your payment plan. I used ExpressVPN, and you can get a free month if you sign up with my referral link here. You’re welcome 🙂

Are you in a similar situation? Did you find this post helpful? Let me know what’s on your mind in the comments below!

Hannah is a visual creative and aspiring digital nomad based in Manila. When she's not pushing pixels, she can be found cuddling with her cat, chilling in cafés, or finding her next flight out. She enjoys tea lattes and making alliterations.


    1. Hello Hannah,

      Great article! Can you also send me that sample letter? Same as you I don’t have an ITR due to the nature of my job which is a freelancer and we’re thinking of travelling to China this April for the Canton Fair. Hopefully, maapprove kami.

        1. Hi miss hanna! My name is karla andrea resma, i just want to ask your sample letter regarding on chinese visa. As of now I don’t have an ITR because i started by home base business last year. Hope you consider po. Para ma-approve ako thanks alot. I love your article by the way.

    2. Hi,
      Divine here i have thesame problem here…I wanted to to go to China but i don’t have an ITR,though i have a work right now but they cannot provide me one since I new in the company….What should I present to to get a Chinese??I hope you can answer this question soon…looking forward…thanks

    3. Hello Hannah,

      This is indeed very helpful! Can you also send me a sample Letter of Explanation (why did not have an ITR) and Itinerary & Budget template pls? I would appreciate it.


  1. That’s awesome to win a round trip ticket abroad. And also scary too!

    Your case is my dilemma too. I do not have an ITR since I’m having an online job as well. But thanks to your post, it is very informative!

    1. Oh definitely — my feelings were confused because I was glad to have won it but then there’s the visa part I had to handle on the other hand haha

      I’m glad this post could help you in any way! Let me know if there’s more that I can fill in 🙂

  2. This is such a great article, this will really help me in the coming days.

    I’m in a similar situation (I won a round trip ticket + accommodation) and my trip is in two weeks! How long did you have to prepare your visa requirements? and what other documents did you present to prove that you’re really coming back to the PH?

    1. Hi Abby, which country are you going to? Each embassy has different processing times, and two weeks may be a little tight so I suggest submitting your application ASAP 🙂

      The Chinese Embassy only takes 4 working days to process a visa, so in my case I submitted my application on the 6th, got my visa on the 9th, and flew on the 17th.

      As for gathering documents, it just took me a day to get my bank statement & certificate from BDO and getting my photo taken according to the Chinese Embassy requirements. Then a couple of days asking my employer to provide me a COE and filling up the visa application form. Writing my Letter of Explanation together with a separate Itinerary & Budget took me the longest, at least a week! My main proof of coming back to the PH was the AirAsia award letter and flight itinerary 🙂 So use that!

      Let me know if you want my sample letter of explanation and itinerary & budget so I can email it to you 🙂

      1. Thanks Hannah, we’re also off to China! I would love to have a copy of the sample letter of explanation.

        Did Airasia send over some documents to help you with your Visa?

          1. I am applying for Tourist Visa in China
            Can you please give me a sample of Letter of Explanation of not having a bank certificate and copy of Statement of bank account for 6 months.

      2. Thanks Hannah, can i have the sample of your letter/ explanation?
        thanks in advance, ialreday subscribed to your mailchimp, thanks.

      3. Hi Hannah thank you for this, I am also a fellow virtual worker and I would really love to have a copy of the sample letter of explianation. 🙂


      4. Hi there Hannah!

        Will be travelling soon to China with my partner and I would love to have a copy of the sample letter explanation and itinerary and budget. Thanks in advance!

  3. What if I just recently resigned and still did not have my COE and ITR since I havent completed yet my exit clearance but I have a newly registered business, DTI/ COR and Mayors Permit.

    I am planning to give my 2015 ITR though and explanation letter?

    Is that ok?

    What do u think?

    Can u also send me a sample of your explanation letter?


      1. Thanks, Hannah!

        Will be submitting our application by Monday, Nov 6.

        Will definitely let you know.

        Got the sample explanation letter from you. Thanks much!

        Wish us luck! 🙂

  4. Hi, sorry to bother you with my inquiry. I hope you can share your thoughts about my case. I’ll be applying for a chinese tourist visa by next year. I’ve only traveled to 3 countries which requires no visa. I booked a flight for October 2018. My problem is that I’m an online English tutor. I do this full time and I can’t present an ITR nor COE kasi ang nature ng work ko is for part time though I do it full time. I work for a Chinese company based in Beijing and they send monthly salary by PayPal. I can present all necessary requirements and bank cert more than 50k except ITR and COE. Main reason ko to travel there is because I wanted to meet some of my close students that I met through my job. My trip will only be for 5 days. What are your thoughts about it? Any response is appreciated. Thank you so much! 🙂

    1. Hello! Sorry for the delayed reply. Since I didn’t have an ITR as well, I took to explaining the nature of my work in a letter as summarized in the bullet points above (I’ll email you my sample letter). A point to remember is: for every requirement you can’t provide, have something else to back it up. My German employer has never made a COE before so I actually had to provide a template for him to edit, approve, and put his signature on. Is it possible to ask your Chinese employer to make a COE for you, too? Or something else that proves that you work for them like contracts, etc? Write about your reason for travel as well (and maybe a list of places you plan to visit, it’s after all a “tourist” visa!)

    1. Hi! I assume you mean about what I’m usually asked at the immigration counters? It isn’t much and only two instances stood out to me:

      1) When the officer would ask me what kind of designer I was since there wasn’t enough space to fill in “GRAPHIC DESIGNER” as my occupation in the immigration form, lol. Then other questions like my place of birth (since I was born in Brunei).

      2) The time I travelled to Singapore solo, the IO just asked me questions like, “where are you staying and for how long?” I told him I didn’t memorize my hostel’s address, to which he told me to just write the hostel’s name in the form.

      That’s all so far. Perhaps I could write a short post on pre-departures 🙂

  5. Hi Hannah,

    I am applying for Tourist Visa in China
    Can you please give me a sample of Letter of Explanation of not having a bank certificate, However my employer is the one provides the Bank Certificate.

    1. Hi Ronnel, I’m not sure I understand… your bank certificate should be from your own bank account. If your employer is sponsoring your trip, I think there are other documents required for that (not sure because I’ve never done it before) or maybe apply for a Business visa rather than a Tourist one?

  6. hello po! 🙂
    Ask q po opinion niyo on my situation po. I will be applying for a tourist visa to China this month po pero ang problem q po is I don’t have ITR and at the same time my history kc aq ng offload(twice) last 2015, which at that time I am bound to Thailand. For other requirements po i can provide, ITR lng po tlga.. Tingin niyo po mga ilang percent po ang possibility na madeny ang application q po?
    Pahingi na rin po ng sample letters niyo po, thank you po.

    1. Hi Kaeyah, sample letter sent! I can’t really give an answer since I don’t know your whole situation. In my case kasi, remote/online worker po ako and not obligated to file one since I don’t earn income from here. So hopefully may valid reason talaga for you to not be able to provide an ITR 🙂

      1. actually po is online teacher po aq and yung company q is based in China as well as some of my private classes. I didn’t file an ITR since isa pa pong gastos, hehe..

  7. Hi! I am planning to go to China this march. I don’t have an ITR too since I am an independent contractor. Is it okay if I get a copy of your letter too? I’m really nervous. I hope I get approved since I already bought my tickets 🙁

  8. I think I can’t present a bank certification since it will only reflect my available balance, which is way too low. Most of my money has been in “hold” status by my BPI branch for the secured credit card they have issued me. It has 6-digit credit limit. I do not have ITR by the time I was applying for a credit card so I opted to convert my savings to a hold-out deposit for me to have one. Presently, I have a business, most of my earnings from my business are used as additional capital. I can present an ITR and my credit card statements. What do you think are my chances of having an approved Chinese Visa? Thank you.

    1. Hi! I’m really not sure as I’ve never experienced this. When I requested my bank certificate, my Average Daily Balance was pretty low but my current balance was high. I used this to explain in my letter where all the payments were coming from (my job and freelance projects).

      So perhaps present your bank certificate anyway, and explain everything in your letter. Good luck!

  9. Hi! I’m a home based independent contractor as well. I’m currently working for a company based in Singapore. I’m not sure if I should check employed or self employed on my visa form. 🙁 Am I considered as self-employed? I can provide a COE of my current employer.

  10. Hi, Hannah! I’m so happy na nakita ko tong article mo. My parents and I are also wishing to visit China for so long na. Particularly sa Guangzhou. My father has visited na there way back in 2009 pa when the visa application requirements were not so thorough pa unlike ngayon. I also still don’t have an ITR since I work in our family business filed and named under my parents’ names. And I just receive a monthly salary from my parents directly. So your guides and tips are very helpful.

    May I also ask a copy of your explanation letter? Thank you!

  11. Hi Hannah, such a useful article. I’m planning to file a Chinese visa too with no ITR and COE. Would love to get a copy of your sample letter and itinerary sana as I’m also planning to visit Shanghai this March. Thank you so much! ^_^

  12. great article! I also want to go to China but don’t have an ITR. Can you Kindly send me a copy? Also, do you have to pay even if ma-deny ka? Thanks!

  13. Hi hanna!
    I just recently went to japan and also made a written explanation of no itr when i applied for a visa… glad that you can also do it in for chinese visa. Actually im only looking at visiting shenzhen from i guess the round trip ticket mla-hkg-mla would do. Can i have a sample of your letter too? I hope i can be granted and be happy like you😊 thanks for your blog! 😊

  14. Hi there Hannah! Wonderful article! Very informative and relevant! Would appreciate a sample of a written explaination. 🙂

  15. Hi hannah..
    I’m an expatriate that living and working in Makati. Is ITR same as certificate of compesation BIR form 2316?

  16. Hello Hannah…
    I’m “pursuing” my intention to travel to China haha can I you please send me the letter sample to why i cannot provide ITR? We have the same nature of job but i have registered mine in BIR. However, since I’ve registered just this month, I cannot provide an ITR. Thanks in advance, dear!

  17. Hi!

    Thank you for the article. I am freelancer too, so I need the letter.
    My friend, who is also joining me to China, have no work – so I am confused what she should do? Can you help?

    1. Hmmm… will she be paying for her own expenses? If she is, then I assume that it’s from her savings so she can explain that in the letter along with her bank documents of course. She will also need to provide other proof of ties in the Philippines (that’s why having a job is one of them) to prove that she has a reason to come back.

  18. Hi Hannah! You just gave me hope! I’m having anxiety thinking about getting Chinese visa on my own! Please send me a copy of your explanation letter too! Thank God I found you, I’m a freelancer too!

      1. Got it, Hannah! I forgot to ask about the itinerary for your 2 day stay in China. If it’s too much can you send it as well? :* Thank you!!

  19. Hi Hannah! Thank you for your article! I was stressing about getting approved for a chinese visa without an itr as i also won a free race kit near Shanghai on April 14/15. Could you please send me a copy of your explanation letter too? Thank you very much!

  20. Hi Hannah! I’m processing my Chinese visa too and kinda worried cause I also have to do a letter of explanation. Could you also send me a copy of your document too? Thank you!

  21. Hello Hannah!
    Thank you very much for your help. You give us hope! Im an online english teacher, no ITR but would love to spend our 20th wedding anniversary in China. The traditional gift for 20th wedding anniv is China, so instead of giving my husband a china, we would rather explore China ourselves 🙂
    I hope you could help me have an idea how to present my letter of explanation, no itr and coe. Thank you, Hannah 🙂

  22. Hello! I just applied today with all the requirements necessary to get a Chinese Visa for me to be able to attend the Canton Fair by next week. Then, the staff just wants me to prepare an explanation of not having an ITR, just incase. And I’m not employed and I’m just managing properties of my BF. I already submitted the SPA forms as supporting docs which proves that I’m managing properties. For now, I just want to make sure and feel safe. Hopefully you would help me by sending your template. Thanks!

  23. Hi Hannah,

    Thank you for sharing this post! Hopefully you can share your letter at itinerary to me!

    Thank you

  24. Hi!

    I’m really in a rush for getting a visa for the canton fair and it’s only till May 5!
    I wish I can make it but I lack the ITR and I need an explanation later haha!

    Could you kindly send me your sample letter / format? I’m looking at submitting it tomorrow 🤗

    Thanks, Hannah!

  25. Hi Hannah!

    Glad I saw your post. I’m actually having issues with the exact same thing. I work from home too but I do get a fixed monthly salary, I jusy dont have an ITR. This trip is kind of a business trip for my dad’s company, so it’s not a tourist visa. I am booked to go to China on June, 6,2018. Can you send me tips and a copy of the letter please. Thank you so much!

  26. Hi Hannah! This is a great article! Would really love if you can also share your cover letter and itinerary template! TIA!

  27. Hello Hannah! It is a helpful article. Can you please send me a sample of your letter of explanation as well as the itinerary and budget? Thank you. 🙂

  28. Hi Hanna,

    This is a very helpful blog! Glad I came across your site!

    My (foreign) boyfriend would like us to meet in China for a week (Shanghai) and I am working online for almost a year now so I’m quite concerned about getting a Chinese visa.

    Though I have 2017 ITR when I was still working in BPO butI’m not sure if it’s sufficient.

    So may I request for a copy of your cover letter and itinerary? Few more tips would he really helpful too!

    Thank you!!!!

    1. Hi Arvie, I don’t know about the 2017 ITR (I think it’s recent enough?) but maybe you can still include it and then explain in your letter. Good luck! 🙂

  29. Hello,

    I have a bank certificate showing my available balance which is low but i also have hold out amount also but not stated on the bank certificate only on my bank statement. So I have, TOTAL BALANCE __________ and then CURRENT BALANCE __________________ and then AVAILABLE BALANCE __________________. I can provide ITR since i pay directly sa BIR as self employed but im a freelancer. Whats ur thought about this?

    1. Hmmm I’m not sure, really. Does your bank know that your requested bank cert + bank statement is for visa application purposes? I think they would know what format to use.

      1. hi ms Hannah

        may i request for sample of explanation letter for no ITR. my Business start at july 2017 .

  30. Hi Hannah!

    I chanced upon your post, and I’m in the same situation. This is super helpful! While I have multiple entry visas for both Korea and Japan, I still get worried every time I apply for a new one. Plus I don’t have an ITR to present anymore. May I also have a copy of your letter and itinerary? hihi. Thank you!

  31. Hi Hannah,

    Great guide! Sobrang laking tulong, don’t know why its not in the top google results 🙂
    Can I have the Letter of Explanation and Itinerary & Budget template please?


  32. Hi! Can you send me your sample letter? Planning to go to Shanghai but im very worried since my monthly income is not really stable since I work on project-based jobs.

  33. it is my constant dream to see china.
    thank you for sharing this information. it is exactly what i need.

  34. Hi! Can you send me your sample letter? Planning to go to Shanghai but im very worried since my monthly income is not really stable since I work only as a Job hire but my boss will be the one to pay all the expenses for the travel to Shanghai. Thank you .

  35. This is a really helpful guide Hannah. I’m also an online-based freelancer with fixed monthly salary and no ITR.

    I recently went to BIR to get a TIN and it seems they also don’t know which kind of form they will give me because of the nature of my work. The staff asked me to let employer fill in details in my form, but I work online (facepalm). He was grumpy as I was asking questions and explaining so I just left and gave up.

    I’ve been reading many posts about applying VISA but couldn’t find guide with same nature of work. So I’m really glad I found yours! I’m going to visit friends in China and don’t want to bother them writing an invitation letter as much as possible. Planning a surprise visit. Haha.

    Can you also please send me your Letter of Explanation, Itinerary, Budget docs? Thank you, you eased my worries! Haha

    1. Hi Chris, docs sent! I was definitely in the same position and frustrated over not finding a guide tailored to our nature of work, that I decided to fill in the gap. So glad this helps!

  36. Hi Hannah! This guide is really helpful!

    I also work online and no ITR yet but I already went to BIR na to change my TIN Status. Can I ask for the copy of the Letter of Explanation? 🙂

    Thank you!

  37. Hi Hannah!,
    This article is really helpful since I am planning to go to China in december. Can I please also have a copy of your Explanation Letter, itinerary and budget documents? Thanks so much! Cheers!

  38. Hi can you send me your sample letter also. I don’t have my ITR also. I’m searching to find a good sample. Pls send me . Thanks

  39. Hi Miss Hannah, can you send me the sample letter too? Because I am also having a hard time because I cant obtain an ITR. Thank you

  40. Great article! It’s very helpful. Can I have a copy of that explanation letter? Thanks and looking forward to have it Hannah.

  41. Hi! I’m so glad I found you. I also work online so I basically need a sample explanation letter too! Sending itinerary nd budget will bsolutely help, too! God bless you

  42. hi hannah..this is a great article and surely did gave a big help to those who has been on the same situation like not having an ITR like me..can u plas send me the sample of your written explanation.. thanks hannah

  43. helpful site hanna,
    i also don’t have itr and i want to go china with my boyfriend who will shoulder all my expenses.
    could you help me what to do and also about the letter of explanation example.

  44. Hi Hannah, thanks for sharing your trip. Great blog btw.

    Same problem here, my friend doesn’t have na ITR since her salary is basic and its VAT exempt.

    Can share please your letter and sample itinerary.


  45. Hi Hannah,

    This is the most helpful article I’ve read. I am applying for a Chinese Visa next week for this months Canton Fair. Hopefully it’s not too late. I also need a sample Letter of Explanation (ITR) and Itinerary & Budget template.

    Thanks in advance!

  46. Hey, Hannah! Stumbled upon this post and I learned a lot. Is it possible to also get a hold of your sample letter and itinerary with budget? I will be applying as a student but my flight is scheduled about two days after my graduation so I’m worried that it could cause me problems but I will of course indicate in my letter that it is a graduation gift (which it truthfully is). Do you think that it’ll make it okay?

    1. Hi Pam! My understanding is that you’ll be visiting China as a tourist and not studying there, correct? Because then you’d be applying for a Tourist Visa and not a Student Visa (which is for studying there) 🙂

      And yes, it is alright to mention that your trip will be a graduation gift; and this means whoever is paying for it will have to submit their bank docs.

      Please do leave your email address in my mailing list so I can send the sample letter and itinerary to you!

  47. Hi can you also send me an explanation letter for having 1 passport only and will only be renewed until next year. Thanks in advance.

  48. Nice post! I have an upcoming travel in China and I haven’t prepared any requirements yet. What I’m concern is the ITR. Can I have a copy of your letter? Thank you.

  49. Hi Hannah, this is just what I need! I’ve been in sleepless nights worrying about my ITR. May I have your templates please? I’ve been trying to add myself to your email list, but kept redirecting me to 404 page not found.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi John, sorry about that! I did get your confirmation so it should be fine now. And yeah, that’s precisely why I wrote up this guide because I spent days scouring the web on the ITR bit 🙂 Sent you the docs!

  50. Hi there Hannah!

    Will be travelling soon to China with my partner and I would love to have a copy of the sample letter explanation and itinerary and budget. Thanks in advance!

  51. Hi Hannah,

    Good day!

    My friend and I will be travelling to China early next yr and I haven’t prepared any requirements yet. My friend doesn’t have ITR. Can I have a copy of your letter? and a sample of itinerary?

    Thanks in advance. =)

  52. Hi Hannah! I have the same situation. I don’t have an ITR because my work before is just good for 15 days and I cannot get an ITR now ’cause I’m new in the company. Can you send me a sample of your explanation letter?

  53. Hi Hannah!

    Your post is really helpful. Same here, I also don’t have an ITR. Can you send me a copy of your letter of explanation? It would really help me a lot.

    All the best! 🙂

  54. Hi, Hannah! I am filing a Chinese Visa Application now.
    I don’t know which to tick (Employed, Self-Employed) because I am working as a Home based ESL teacher now. I don’t know our main office’s address in Manila – the one handling the company’s recruitment – nor their phone number since everything’s online now. I have an ITR (January – October 2018) but I don’t know if it will suffice. Could you please send your letter of explanation and sample itinerary? Thank you so much. ~

    1. Sent! I hope it helps. I think I ticked “company employee” as far as I remember since I also had my employer write a COE for me, even though I’m actually more of an independent contractor.

  55. Hi!

    Can you also send me a copy of explanation letter??

    I went to China Embassy last december 26,unfortunately the consul gave back all my requirements. He told me i need my bank certificate which i cannot provide because i am currently unemployed. My Chinese friend will be the one sponsoring my trip,already bought me plane and hotel ticket. I have included all of her requirements,including her bank certificate. I am planning to go back tomorrow and hopefully the consul will get my requirements.

    Thank you and Happy New Year!

  56. Hi, Hannah! I am planing to go to China this month so I am in the process of collating all the requirements. I am glad to see your post. Please share your explanation letter to me as well for I know it will be helpful. I hope you still have a copy! Thanks a lot!

  57. I have been doing my research about our upcoming trip to China and this is the best blog so far.

  58. Hello. I will be applying for a Chinese Visa next month. Can I ask for a copy of your sample letter and itinery with budget? Thank you so much. BTW this blog is so helpful. 😉

  59. family plans to go to china this march2019.. we availed the tour package states that its a group visa.. but some filipinos who went there with a group visa holder just dissapear there and go TNT.. so the group visa was vanished due to that..the agency told us to get an individual visa..
    My wife and I have a photo video studio but not registered and it is online based.. we dont have an ITR.. we have previous and current contracts of our client,does it help for addtional documents?can you also send us a letter of explanation.thank you

  60. Hello Hannah,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, truly a big help for us. If not much to ask can I aslo request for a copy of sample letter of explanation – no ITR for my husband.

    Thanks a lot.

  61. Hi Hannah,

    I have been looking for the best blog about getting a chinese visa and how to deal with if you work online and no ITR, so far your blog is the most real and honest when it comes to the feeling of not knowing how much would be amount on your bank account, your blog is super helpful to me. I’ll definitely follow this as I’m planning my first time trip in China soon, if you don’t mind can you send me a sample of your letter of explanation, it would much much much help since I’m scared to be denied to as it may reflect bad reputation on my passport. Thank you so much!!!!!!

  62. Hi Hannah,

    I am a freelancer based in the Philippines but working for a Vietnamese company. I was recently invited by a Chinese firm to cover two automotive-related events in China (one in Beijing, one in Shanghai) this April 2019. Now, I’ve been to two overseas trips before (HK), but this is the first time I will be going to a country that requires a visa. I have been assured that all expenses will be shouldered by the party that invited me, so all I need to do is show up and work; they will also take care of the invitation letter that I can bring to the Chinese Embassy.

    I noticed that two of the requirements for first-time visa applications are an ITR and a bank statement. My problem is that my ITR reflects only my income as a voiceover artist (since I issue receipts for those), while my bank account is for receiving payments for my writing work (which I don’t give out receipts for). Do you think that this discrepancy could be grounds for the consul to deny my visa application? Will it help if I bring documentary proof of rootedness i.e. land titles, ownership certificates, utility bills to boost my chances of getting approved?


    1. Hi, sorry for the late reply.
      You’ll never know unless you try, and I think you have good chances. And yes, it’s always better to overdeliver. Good luck!

  63. hi!
    i am planning to visit my husband in china his currently working in china.but there is one thing keeps bothering in my mind..i am unemployed because i only depending my allowance from my husband every that means
    i can’t get any income tax stamp or etc…about the BIR thing..
    could you please give some idea how to get any financial proof ?

    1. Hi, I’m sorry I can’t help since I don’t know either. Maybe contact the Chinese Embassy or ask a travel agency? They should know how to assist you with that. Good luck!

  64. Hi Hannah,
    Reading this gave me a little boost for my upcoming trip to China. I, like you, do not have an ITR, and work online for a Vietnamese company. This company I am working for has a factory in Shenzen and they would like me to come over for a week just to have a look around and to get to know the company more. They will be covering all my expenses for the trip and will be giving me an invitation letter but the only thing i fear is the ITR requirement for the visa. Would it be too much to ask if you could send me a sample of the letter that you have given the embassy so that I may use it as a basis to create my own letter explaining why I do not have one and that I will be a responsible citizen throughout my stay.

  65. Hi Hannah, current doubt before submitting my application is I have a low ADB as most of my money goes to my stocks. I’ll withdraw some to come up to hopefully an enough amount and explain it through the letter, the transfer will come from my stockbroker so they can also see it on the bank statement.

    Would love to have a copy of your letter and see how you laid it out.

    Wish me luck.

  66. Hi Hannah, great post! Can you send to me the Letter of Explanation and Itinerary & Budget template? I tried subscribing but its not working 🙁

    I want to visit Shenzhen but by train from HK. Hopefully my visa would get approved.

  67. OMG I’m also in the same situation. Online work and 0 idea how to file an ITR. Jeezuz.

    So glad to find this blog. Would you also please send me a copy of your explanation letter please?


  68. Hi Hannah,

    Great content! Thank you for the tips. Could you also send me a copy of the Letter of Explanation and Itinerary & Budget template, please?

    I’ve been working home-based since 2017 and I’ve been planning to visit my fiance’s family in Urumqi since last year but I am afraid of getting my visa application denied. 🙁

    Thank You,

  69. Hi Ms Hanna

    Pasend naman po ng sample explanation letter.
    My problem is OFW ako. Pero resigned na. So wala po ako ITR. Kakaresigned ko lng. June 15 last day of work ko then flight back ko sa pinas was june 24. Jul 3 plan ko po mag apply ng visa. So d po ako makaprovide ng itr pero my bank cert at soa po ako. Photocopy of my residency ID sa ibang bansa, coe with last day of work indicated, company id at And cheque of lst payment.

    Pahelp nmn po.
    Thank you

  70. Hi Hannah!
    Great article! This really gave me hope in finally applying for a Chinese visa without an ITR. The article hit all the questions I’ve been asking for a while now–which no other blog has quite answered.

    Would you be able to send me your sample letter, sample itinerary and breakdown of expenses?

    Thanks so much! I super appreciate the help!

  71. Hi Hannah, can i also have your sample letter? I’m going to China this coming December with my Chinese friends. I’m going to resign from my job and definitely would be needing an ITR. Thank you.

  72. Hi Hannah, I found your article ery informative. I however will go to China for my work. I too is a freelancer and my new project requires me to go to China to meet our vendors. As a freelancer like you, ITR is my primary problem. I would like to have a copy of the explanation letter and also the itinerary and budget.

    As for the COE, since my employer is from offshore, do they accept a scanned copy of a signed COE? Or do I really need to ask my employer to send the COE by mail?

  73. Hi Ms. Hannah! Thank you so much for bringing light to mist of my concerns!! Love your article!
    I was hoping you could send me a sample for the letter of explanation too. I’m lost on how to start it. Your response would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you so much! <3 Have a pleasant day!

  74. Hi Ms. Hannah! Thank you so much for bringing light to most of my concerns!! Love your article!
    I was hoping you could send me a sample for the letter of explanation too. I’m lost on how to start it. Your response would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you so much! <3 Have a pleasant day!

  75. Hello, Ms. Hannah! Thanks for your very informative article. I hope I can have a copy of the letter of explanation…Thank you very much.

  76. Hi miss Hannah, can you please send me a copy of your no ITR letter and daily itinerary for China? I also wrote to you on Instagram. Thank you!

  77. hi! may i request for sample of explanation letter for no ITR and itinerary sample. Need to apply and expedite a Chinese visa.

  78. Hello! I need a visa as well but since my employer is online, I can get a COE but no ITR as well. Kindly send me the sample please, and let me know what occupation you indicate? Thank you!

  79. Hi Ms. Hannah, your article is very informative and helpful. Would you also send me a copy of the explanation letter? I am an online teacher so I don’t have ITR too.Thank you very much.

  80. Hi Hannah,

    Would it also be possible to request for a copy of the letter you sent? Like you, I’m also working online and freelance. I do have my PayPal transactions on record, and was thinking of using it, together with my bank cert.

    Thank you so much for writing this blog! Super informative.

  81. Hi Hannah,

    Did i read it right ? that you are employed but no ITR ? I am currently in the same situation, I am employed but my company doesn’t issue such ITR and other deductions as they only give us Cash Vouchers for our salary. Will COE signed by the employee enough apart from the explanation letter ?

    1. I’m not employed per se, but considered as a “full-time contractor” by my boss. I just made that clear in the COE document and then he reviewed and signed it 🙂

  82. Hi Hannah,

    Thank you so much for your article! I have a supposed China trip in a month and same as you, I’m currently employed (considered as full-time contractor) but have no ITR yet, since I work remotely. :< Can you kindly send me a sample of the explanation letter?

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