International Materials Institute
for New Functionality in Glass

International Symposium on Functional Glasses
January 4-15, 2010
Visa Information



  • ALL visitors to China require a VISA.
  • Participants must have a PASSPORT valid for at least 9 months from the date of travel. To Therefore your passport must be valid until at least OCTOBER 1, 2010. If it is not you will have to renew your passport before applying for a visa. It can take up to 10 weeks to obtain a U.S passport.
  • Do not apply for a visa until you have received written confirmation from IMI-NFG of your acceptance to attend the International Symposium (Winter School Program).
  • Participants that hold a non-US Passport must check information and requirements relevant to their country of citizenship
  • Passport applications and any associated costs / fees will be the responsibility of the participant.

What type of Visa do I need ?

You will need to apply for a Business Visa (F-Visa). This is issued to foreigners who are invited to China for a business, research, lecture, technological and cultural exchanges.
Valid: SINGLE-entry. Visa valid from date of issue and normally expires after 3 months (90 days)

In your Visa Application (Form Q-2007: Section 2: Visit to China) please check the box for BUSINESS TRIP as your major purpose of visit to China - so this corresponds with Visa type being issued. (Only one box should be checked)

When should I apply for a Visa ?

Remember to take into account that a business or F-Visa is usually valid for 3 months (90 days) from the day of issue. Do not apply before November 2009 as risk VISA expiring before you travel. However please take into account that November and December months in the US are busy holiday periods and factor in time in case there are any problems in getting a visa issued.
We suggest that you apply beginning November and certainly no later than beginning December.

How much does a Visa Cost ?

The VISA costs $130 (as of June 2009), however depending on whether you visit a consulate in person or use a third-party agency and how quickly you want to obtain your visa, the total cost can more than double. See below for more information.

How to Apply for a Visa

Information below is based on participant holding a US Passport. Participants holding a non-US Passport must check information and requirements for their country of citizenship.

Documentation Required to Apply for a Visa

These are guidelines only. It is important to check the Department of State for complete information on the VISA process and documentation required.

  • Completed VISA APPLICATION FORM of the P.R of China (no item should be left blank - write N.A if not applicable and no item should be altered)
  • ORIGINAL US Passport valid for at least  9 months from the DATE OF TRAVEL. (Therefore for this Symposium your passport must be valid until OCTOBER 1, 2010) with a MINIMUM of 2 blank visa pages.
  • ONE recently taken photo (2” x 2” in size) showing entire face (without any hat / accessories obscuring your head/face … similar the regulations for a passport photo)
  • Letter of Support (original) from IMI-NFG, Lehigh University
  • Invitational letter (original) from the hosting university (in this case this is Zhejiang University in China which IMI-NFG will organize for you)
  • Hotel confirmation (hotel confirmation for the duration of the Symposium (January 4-15, 2010) will be sent to you by our Chinese hosts along with your invitational letter).
    If you are arriving prior to the start of the Symposium you may need to have hotel confirmation for your arrival date and any dates before the Symposium starts. (section 4.10 which asks for address for your stay in China).
    If you are extending your stay in China after the dates of the Symposium you do not necessarily need to submit hotel confirmation for these dates, but the Chinese Consulate reserves the right to request additional information.
  • Travel itinerary (dates of arrival and departure)
  • If applicable: former business visa (F-Visa) records,if any, together with copies.

Where to Apply for a Visa

The Chinese Consulates in the U.S do NOT accept Visa Applications by mail. There are two ways to obtain a visa:

  • Visit a Chinese Consulate in person
    This is generally cheaper and quicker, however there are only a limited number of Chinese Consulates in the US you can visit. See list below.
  • Use an authorized third-party agency
    These are more convenient if you do not live near a major city that hosts a Chinese Consulate. However the cost of processing and shipping make it more expensive and the visa application process takes longer.

Before traveling to your nearest Chinese Consulate or posting your visa application to an agency - please check the US Department of State for travel restrictions or visa changes. Also check the website of the Consulate you plan to visit to obtain your visa or the agency you are using to get current/up-to-date information on applying for a VISA and any information on days / hours of operation.

Chinese Consulates in US

Visiting a Chinese Consulate in person.
Assuming your application meets all requirements:

Regular pick up
- your visa will be available for pick up approximately on the fourth working day after youhave submitted your application.
Cost $130.00 per visa. (as of June 2009)

Next day or third day pick up
Cost $130.00 + $20.00 express service fee per visa.(as of June 2009)

Same day pick up
(emergencies only)
Consuls are often able to take your application in consideration depending on the quantity of applications of that day - normally by 2:15pm.
Cost per VISA : $130.00 + $30.00 fee per visa.(as of June 2009)

There are NO guarantees the consulate will be able to offer same day or next day pickup service . Applicants are normally given a specific time to pick up their visa and should be picked up NO LATER than 3 days after their specified pick up date given.

Third Party Agency

CIBT (800-929-2428)
VISARITE (800-361-7708)

Examples only - IMI-NFG can not recommend or endorse any third party agency to use.

  • Allow a total processing time of at least 10 working/business days from date sent.
  • Use a registered postal service such as FEDEX.
  • Check the individual websites for details on costs and instructions on applications and postage.

Example of costs from a third party agency:
Regular Service: min 8 business days: Visa $130 + Service Fee $45 + Shipping $20 = $195.00 Express Service: min 5 business days: Visa $150+ Service Fee $60 + Shipping $20 = $230.00 Express Plus Service: min 4 bus.days: Visa $160 + Service Fee $100 + Shipping $20 = $280.00


Arrangements for Travel

IMI-NFG will organize all travel arrangements from the airport of your choice in the US to Shanghai, China.
Once you have been notified of your offer to participate in the International Symposium on Functional Glasses you will be asked to forward information on your travel plans so we can best accommodate your requests when organizing the travel.

Getting to and from the Aiport in US

Participants will be responsible to organize suitable transportation from their home/institution in the US to the departure airport and return. All reasonable expenses for transport will be reimbursed with valid receipts.

Getting to and from the Airport in Shanghai, China

January 4, 2010: Our Chinese hosts will arrange for participants to met at the airport or a designated hotel in Shanghai if arrival before this date. You will then be taken by bus to Zhejiang University, Hangzhou. Approximately 2.5-3 hour journey.

January 15, 2010: Our Chinese hosts will arrange for participants to be taken to Shanghai Airport for their flight back to the US. (The last few days of the Symposium is planned to be centered in Shanghai)

Traveling in China

Any travel associated with the International Symposium on Functional Glasses will be organized and supported by IMI-NFG.
However, participants will be responsible for organizing and funding any non-related Symposium activities, including (but not limited) to sightseeing trips, accommodation, food, living expenses or travel prior to or after the dates of the International Symposium (January 4-15, 2010) or during the Symposium if not designated as part of the Program (free time).

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DMR-0844014.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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