BEIJING: The eVisa system for Chinese nationals is up and running, although most who turned up at the visa application centre here were still unaware of the new service.
On the first working day of 2016, the centre in the Chinese capital – one of the four centres in China – was crowded with people waiting to submit their applications.
Li Xinyu, who visits Malaysia three to four times a year, said she did not know she could now process the visa application online.
“It is a little troublesome having to come here personally and wait for one or two hours.
“It would be much more convenient if we could submit the application electronically,” she said.
Postgraduate students Xavier Jia and Guo Errong, both 22, said they had checked out the application website but could not go through the payment stage, so they had to come to the visa application centre personally.
Officers from the visa centre later helped them with their online application using the computer provided at the centre.
“We are planning to visit Malaysia for a holiday at the end of this month and we heard about the eVisa service on the radio one day,” said Jia.
“However, we had to search high and low on the Internet for more information on the new service.”
Meanwhile, Hu Wanli breezed through the process at the centre as she had successfully completed the online application earlier at home.
She only had to submit her passport to the officer at the counter.
“This is much easier, although the website was loading slowly. Now I don’t have to wait for an hour for my turn at the centre,” said the 33-year-old, who will be visiting Malaysia to celebrate Chinese New Year with her Malaysian husband.
The eVisa was launched on Jan 2 for applications of Visa Without Reference.
Only Chinese nationals residing in mainland China can use the service in the initial stage, to be followed by Chinese nationals living elsewhere in the second phase in March.
The service is expected to be extended to all other countries from June onwards, according to the Malaysian Immigration Department.