My mission this past week was to get our Chinese Visas for travel to China in April 2020 on a cruise ship. I had already investigated the process while I was in Mexico City in July 2019, so I kind of knew what to expect the the process. I had done my research and got all the information from the Chinese Embassy website for Mexico at http://mx.china-embassy.org/esp/ Then you can download the specifics for the visa process and application at http://mx.china-embassy.org/esp/LSFW/t511895.htm
Follow their procedures exactly including the dimensions of the photo that is required and make sure you complete each and every box on the four page application form. Obviously all in Spanish and be aware the employees only speak Spanish and Chinese, not English. You can take several passports for submission as long as you complete the last section on page 4 that designates you as the official representative for your other people in the group.
I had booked a hotel as close as possible and with an Interjet flight of 1550 pesos round trip I was on my way! I arrived early enough that I went directly to the Chinese Embassy that morning to verify I had everything in order because they are only accepting visa applications from 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday with Chinese and Mexico holidays excluded. To my surprise the agent requested that I include the airfare receipt even though we were not flying in or out of China, only via cruise. So, off I went to locate a place to print them out from my emails.
The next morning I was back there right at 9am and I only saw about 6 others there waiting for them to open. Most importantly, they do not allow any one to have a cell phone inside even if it is turned off. So you must leave it with a friend outside, leave in your car, or there is a little cafe a few yards away that will graciously accept them for 25 pesos fee. Being alone, that was my only option and used it 3 times in total without any issues.
After the usual metal scanner you are issued a number for Visas and you wait to be called up to one of the 3 windows for their services. This time I was taken care of by a Chinese agent and she said I did not need the airline tickets reservations as I was previously told by the Mexican agent. When asked her why not, when the other person had requested it, she simply rolled her eyes. About 5 minutes later I was given the paperwork approval and a receipt to pay my fee at their bank HSBC. I only needed a 1 entry visa, however they only have 90 days of validity, so I had to opt for the 2 entry visa which has 6 months of validity for our travels at the end of April. I did not have return with the payment receipt until I returned the next morning to pickup the passports with the new Chinese Visas inside.
I spent the rest of the day sightseeing and since HSBC banks are located everywhere, I just went to one near my route and paid the fee of 3120 pesos. This included the 510 pesos per visa expedited fee. If you do not pay the fee your visa will take 5 days to be ready.
The next morning I went back to the Chinese Embassy (dropped off the cellphone at the cafe) and was given a different ticket for pickup services. Again, a 5 minute wait and the agent took my payment receipt, issued me another payment receipt and returned the passports with our new Chinese Visas. Actually quite simple!!