Visa & Other Preparations

Updated March 14, 2017

Well in advance of departure, families will receive comprehensive Student and Parent handbooks.


From approximately March, families will begin to receive reminders from Graham Topp, Director of Hangzhou Communications/Relations, about the preparations that need to be made prior to departure to Hangzhou in late August. His reminders will provide specific deadlines and travel dates for flight bookings.

Normally in June there will be an information session with Hangzhou CIS Director Sally Zhang during the last week of the Hong Kong CIS academic year. (There will be separate meetings for Year 9 parents whose children join Hangzhou CIS in the coming academic year, and for families with children in younger years, thinking about Hangzhou CIS in future years.)

All Families Preparing for Hangzhou CIS

1. Visa & Travel Documents

TIMEFRAME: Apply through the school in May for a student visa. (If a new passport is required, please apply for the passport ASAP; bear in mind summer travel plans, as well as student travel in May for the CIS China Experience Programme.)

Students with a Home Return Permit (Hui Xiang Zheng)

  • Do NOT need to apply for a visa.
  • Please simply check that the student's current Home Return Permit information is correct in Moongate (see #2 below).

All other students must apply through the school for a student-type China visa

  • The school will assist all families in applying for student visas after the China Experience Programme in mid-May and before the end of the school year in mid-June. (After arrival in China, students will be issued with a new visa which will be valid for the full Hangzhou year.)
  • Even if your child already has a valid visa, you will need to specially apply for a student-type China visa.
  • Families are advised not to plan travel during this time as the visa process will take some time and is not entirely predictable.
  • If your child will be traveling in China during the summer break, please contact Rickena Cai IMMEDIATELY. Special arrangements may need to be made so that your child’s visa for Hangzhou CIS is issued in mid-August AFTER such summer travel.
  • Dual Nationality: if a student has multiple nationalities, parents must decide which passport will be used for visa purposes and this passport must be used for the duration of the school year.

visa information here

2. Travel, Medical, Parent & Emergency Information

TIMEFRAME: May to mid-June

Please review and update your information on Moongate. (Existing CIS families will have already done this prior to the China Experience Programme in May.)

  • Travel & Medical Information - Click here for video instructions on how to do this.
  • Parent & Emergency Contact Information – Click here for video instructions on how to do this.

3. Travel Insurance

TIMEFRAME: May to mid-June

  • All Hangzhou students must enrol in travel insurance provided by CIS's broker.
  • Submit completed application form with a cheque to the Business Office by the announced deadline.
  • The policy covers the student from departure from home country until return to home country for the full year, but does not cover school holidays or periods when the student is in the custody of parent(s)/guardian(s).
  • Marsh Study Abroad Brochure
  • Marsh Study Abroad Application Form 

4. Medical Exam & Form

TIMEFRAME: May to mid-August

  • Schedule a medical examination and arrange for a licensed physician to complete the form.
  • Submit form to Business Office before August departure to Hangzhou.


TIMEFRAME: May to mid-August (for booking/purchase of first ticket, or all flights for the year)

  • Parents will need to make their own travel arrangements for their children - and for themselves (more below).
  • Families residing in Hong Kong should plan on five roundtrip flights for their child to and from Hangzhou, at the start and end of each of the year's five "Acts" (see Calendar elsewhere on this page).
  • For all travel days, coach transfer to and from campus will be arranged for students arriving and departing on flights KA620 and KA621. For the initial August trip, CIS will provide two staff members to accompany the students.
  • Some airlines may offer less expensive student fares upon proof of participation in a China study program. The CIS Business Office in Hong Kong can prepare a letter as proof of study.
  • Even when booking in advance, some families may find that flight KA620 to Hangzhou after Chinese New Year is full. Based on the experience of prior years, there will be a number of options available closer to the date - e.g., places will become available; places will become available at a higher price; an alternate flight will need to be booked, etc.

Note: Students may not remain on campus during school holidays, and families should make appropriate arrangements for their child to arrive and depart on designated dates.

6. Purchase/Supplement Uniforms

TIMEFRAME: May-August 15 (for summer and formal uniform; winter items are usually not needed until after October break).

  • For the most part, the Hangzhou CIS uniform and dress code is the same as the Hong Kong CIS uniform, with additional items.
  • All items may be purchased at the on-campus shop.
  • See Uniforms & Packing for details.

7. LAPTOPS, Calculator & Textbooks

Students already enrolled at CIS do not need to order books, but will need to bring their laptops, graphing calculators and possibly some textbooks. Further information will be provided

Families Not Previously Enrolled at CIS


Information for new students will be provided.

ORDERING Laptop Computer

Information for new students will be provided.

Parent Travel

Parents may accompany their children to Hangzhou CIS at the start of the year; however, please be aware there is a very limited time window for parents to be with their child on campus - typically 2-5 p.m. on the arrival date - and after that time, parents must depart the campus so that students may take part in start-of-term activities.

Parents will also be invited to visit Hangzhou on two weekends:

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences - typically a weekend in Mid-November
  • Celebration - typically the second weekend of June and the last weekend of the Hangzhou year. Parents may wish to fly home with their child.

These weekends typically begin with a welcome event on Friday evening, followed by the main activity/ies on Saturday and Sunday, and free time or optional activities on Sunday. With proper notification to the school, students may leave campus with their parents and stay over at their hotel.

Hangzhou CIS Calendar

Hangzhou CIS typically runs from the last week of August through the second or third week of June.

The Hangzhou year is organised into five "Acts", which vary in length from four to ten weeks.

Between the Acts, there are four school holidays of approximately two to three weeks each (mid-October, Christmas, Chinese New Year and Easter).


Help in HK with Hangzhou CIS

Ms. Keena Thrush

Head of China Programs

Ms. Rickena Cai

China Programmes Coordinator & Hangzhou CIS Administrative Assistant
c/o Business Office
Tel: 2512-5889


HZ CIS on Moongate Access to Dorm Lists, Directories, etc. for enrolled families.