It's now 5 working days for regular processing. So I submitted my application a bit before 5pm on a Friday and was told to pick it up next week Friday after 5pm.
Cost is now 400rmb for a single 30 day entry. Or that was what I was charged anyways. There are no posted prices and its cash only with no receipt except for your passport pickup. That's like $65 USD.
You can pay another 150rmb for 2 day or 100rmb for 3 day processing. For 400rmb, they should process it in three days like they used to before, but now you'd pay 500rmb. The office is still like deserted most of the time, so why does it take longer now and cost extra. If you opted for 2 day, thats like $90 usd. All other neighboring countries charge like $25usd.
The rest of and cope review is still good for hours and location.
How to get there: The entrance is not very obvious. On the corner of Beijing Lu and YongAn Lu (which is under heavy construction right now), you can see a Construction Bank of China. You need to walk along YongAn Lu, going east on the north side of the street, past the bank. 20-30 meters later you will be able to turn left (north) into a very small courtyard-like pedestrian area. This area has another bank and modern storefronts on the left and leads to one door in the north (maybe 10-15 meters) with the number 155 beside it, which is your destination. There is a guard sitting by the door who will let you in. Go to the elevators, to the left, and go up to the 5th floor. Exit the elevators to the right and then left up to the end of the hall...very easy to find. Door 507.
Hours of Operation: On the door, it states that it is open from 9-12 and 2-6 Monday to Friday. Closed on the weekends.
Cost: A single entry, 30 day tourist visa costs 390 RMB for 2 day service. (I went in on the 29th and they said it would be ready on the 31, and as Dan said, I should pick it up around 5pm.) If you want 1 day service it costs an extra 100 RMB. I didn't ask about other types of visas.
Service: I got there Monday at 2:00 on the dot and they were about 8 minutes late opening the doors. There were 2 other people there waiting with me. I ask for a visa form and filled it out in the office. This identical form can be found on their website and can be printed and filled out beforehand. The gentleman behind the counter didn't appear to speak much English so we conversed in Chinese. I waited at the counter for him as he worked on the computer for about 5-8 minutes, which I thought was a little rude although he seemed nice enough. I gave him 400 RMB, but he didn't have any change and so wrote on my receipt to return 10 RMB to me when I pick up my passport (a bit strange that they don't have change). When we actually got the business at hand, it only took 3 minutes. He only looked at my name, passport number, and the type of visa I wanted on the application form. He glanced at the other information (workplace, contact, employment, etc.) to see it was filled out but that was it. He wrote the receipt and away I went.
Overall impression: Why did I give it 4 stars? Despite all the little complaints, the overall objective of getting a visa was easy and (relatively) quick. I haven't pick it up yet, but I can't see it being too much of a hassle besides waiting a bit. I'll add further information if I run into major issues, but otherwise feel the 4 stars is fair.
not sure when they start but....lunch from 12-2 then they finish at 530
got to have that 2 hour gov lunch ..hahahah
You can only pick up visa between 5 and 5:30pm, which is a tad lame. Here it is 5:20pm, been here for half an hour, and they just keep telling me 等一会, without even telling me how much longer. Wtf? Next time I'll just go to Laos, Thailand or some other country that doesn't piss off tourists beforw they even arrive.
easy to get a tourist visa here. takes few days for about 400 RMB now (and if you pay 200 RMB more, it can be made in less than 1 day)