To get a visa you must either hand deliver your passport to the Chinese Consulate or hire a visa courier service to do it for you. We used a service. I find it a little strange to turn your passport over to someone, I was always instructed to never let your Passport leave your possession and here you send it away to someone to take to the Consulate on your behalf. To do it yourself, Consulates are only found in NY, Chicago, LA, San Fransisco, and Houston. This is our 3rd time using the service, so we knew it was going to be fine and nothing to worry about. It was like Christmas today at the mailbox. In addition to my Kindle arriving, my passport came back to me today from the courier service with my Chinese Visa in it! China here I come. Traveling begins just one week from today. Got the visa if now only I had my bags packed.