Planning a trip to China? Make sure you start the visa application process 1-2 months before your visit is scheduled. You can apply by post or in person at consulates in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra.
There are currently eight types of visas:
- Tourist and Family Visit Visa (L-visa): This visa is for those who come to China for personal purposes.
- Business Visa (F-visa): This visa is for those who have been invited to China for a visit, research, lecture, business, and exchange. Good for up to six months.
- Student Visa (X-visa): This visa is issued to a foreign citizen who comes to China for study or research that extends beyond six months.
- Work Visa (Z-visa): This visa is issued to a foreign citizen who comes to China for work or academic exchange. It extends to their accompanying family members as well.
- Transit Visa (G-visa): This visa is for those who are stopping in China on their way to a third country. If you are an Australian passport holder, you do not need to hold a visa if your visit is under 48 hours and you are transiting through Shanghai.
- Crew Visa (C-visa): This visa is for an employee of an airline, international train, ocean liner, or freighter.
- Journalist Visa (J-visa): There are two types of journalist visas. J-1 is for resident journalists and their accompanying families. J-2 is for journalists who come for temporary news coverage.
- Permanant Resident Visa (D-visa): This visa is for a foreign citizen who has been approved to reside in China permanantly.
Australian citizens have the option of a single entry visa, double entry visa, a multiple entry visa good for 6 months, and a multiple-entry visa good for one year. More info can be found here.
If you wish to visit Hong Kong, you do not need to apply for a separate visa. You are granted 3 months in the country without a visa. However, if you choose to work, study, or engage in business, you will need the proper visa.