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Frequently Asked Questions

2021-03-10 12:43

1. Do I need a visa to visit China's mainland?

Generally foreign citizens need a visa to visit China's mainland with the exception of visa-free entry (Please refer to http://cs.mfa.gov.cn/wgrlh/lhqz/lhqzjjs/) according to relevant agreements and regulations. The Australian passport holder should apply for a visa before visiting China's mainland.

If you used to be a Chinese citizen and has already obtained foreign citizenship, you should submit your Chinese passport to the Chinese Embassy/Consulate-General for cancellation, or you could submit your Chinese passport when applying for a Chinese visa. If you continue to use your Chinese passport after obtaining a foreign citizenship, you should bear all the responsibilities arising therefrom.

2. What type of visa should I apply for?

It depends on the purpose of your visit. Please refer to https://www.visaforchina.org/SYD_EN/ for more information on the visa types. The type of visa will be determined by the consular officer finally.

3. Where should I apply for a visa?

Ordinary Passport holders in Australia should apply for Chinese visa through local Chinese Visa Application Service Center according to Consular districts(http://au.china-embassy.org/eng/lsfw_12/vc/t1038750.htm ). Diplomatic or Official (Service) Passport holders in Australia should submit the visa application to relevant Chinese Embassy or Consulate-General according to Consular districts. Applicants for R visa (including their spouses and minor children) could submit visa application to Chinese Visa Application Service Center or to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate-General directly.

The Consular District of the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Sydney is New South Wales of Australia. If you don't submit your visa application according to Consular Districts, your visa application may be rejected.

4. When should I apply for a visa?

It is suggested that you submit visa application one month before your planned trip to China. The visa will expire before your trip if you apply for the visa too early. You may not have enough time to get the visa if you apply for the visa too late.

During COVID-19 pandemic, it is suggested that you submit visa application 1-2 months before your planned trip to China.

5. How long does it take to get a visa after I submit my application?

If you have submitted all documents required, it normally takes 4 business days (it varies case by case). With the approval of the consuls, you may request express service (3 business days) for an additional fee.

Applicants should collect the visa in time. The visa would be canceled if it is not collected within three months from the collection date and will affect future applications.

During COVID-19 pandemic, the processing time might be longer than usual. Please contact the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in advance to inquire whether your purpose of visit to China meets the specific requirements during the pandemic.

6. Must I appear in person to apply for or collect my visa? And is there any mail service?

After the implementation of the biometric visa, applicants should go to the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Sydney in person for fingerprints collection(except those exempted). Upon request, the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Sydney will determine whether a return mail service is applicable to you. For more information, please contact the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Sydney.

Applicants exempted from fingerprints collection should appear in person for an interview if required by the Consulate-General of China in Sydney.

7. Can I check other applicant's visa application information at the Chinese Embassy/Consulate-General or Chinese Visa Application Service Center?


8. Can I change my trip itinerary after getting a visa?

Unless otherwise specified, you can change your itinerary, but you must enter China before your visa expires. Neither the Chinese Embassy nor the Consulate-General will take any responsibility in case your visa becomes invalid due to itinerary change.

9. Can the validity, duration of each stay and number of entries be changed after the visa is issued?

No, they cannot be changed. If you want to change your visa, you need to submit a new visa application and pay the fee again.

10. Can I enter China after I get the visa?

A visa does not mean you will definitely be permitted to enter China. Chinese immigration authorities will make the final decision on your entry in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations.

11. I get a new passport, but I have a valid Chinese visa in my old passport. Can I travel with both passports to China without applying for a new visa?

Yes, on the condition that your bio-data such as your name, gender, date of birth, citizenship on your new passport remain exactly the same as your previous passport and the purpose of your next trip to China remains the same as permitted in your previous visa, you may use the two passports together to enter China.

If not, you must apply and pay for a new visa with your new passport and your previous visa will be canceled without refund.

12. If visa expires during my stay in China, can I continue my stay?

As long as the duration of each stay allows, you may still stay in China although your visa expires.

13. What should I do if I lose my passport during my stay in China?

You should report the loss to local public security authorities as soon as possible and go to your country's Embassy or Consulate-General in China to apply for a new passport or other travel document. After that, you should go to the local public security authorities to apply for a new visa.

14. Visa exemption of Bilateral Agreement and Residence Permit

If you meet the requirements of visa free agreement between China and your country, you may not need a visa. Please click the list of agreements the list of agreements on visa exemption (http://cs.mfa.gov.cn/zlbg/bgzl/cgqz/t902373.shtml ). If you need more details of the agreement, please check with relevant authorities of your country.

Chinese Residence Permit holders may enter or exit from China multiple times without the need of a visa during the validity of the permit.

15. Visa free transit

Please consult the National Immigration Administration of China or the local immigration authorities where you plan to visit or transit.

16. Other type visa exemption

Please refer to the China Consular Service for more information http://cs.mfa.gov.cn/wgrlh/lhqz/cjwdn_660600/t1175680.shtml .

17. How do foreign citizens go to HKSAR and Macao SAR?

According to the Basic Law of HKSAR and the Basic Law of Macao SAR, HKSAR and Macao SAR implement immigration control on their own. Foreign citizens who would visit HKSAR and Macao SAR, please refer to the websites of Immigration of HKSAR and Macao SAR for more information.

Website of Immigration Department of HKSAR: www.immd.gov.hk  


FAX:00852-2877 7711


Website of Public Security Police Force of Macao SAR: https://www.fsm.gov.mo/psp/eng/main.html 

Tel:00853-2872 5488

Fax:00853-8897 0300;


18. I am planning to visit HKSAR and Macao SAR and other cities in China's mainland. Do I need different visas?

Foreign citizens who would travel to China's mainland, HKSAR and Macao SAR at the same time must apply for a visa for China's mainland, a visa for HKSAR and a visa for Macao SAR if they do not meet the requirements of visa exemption.

19. What does a foreign citizen need to know during his/her stay in China?

A Foreign citizen in China should comply with Chinese laws and regulations, and should not engage in activities unrelated to the purpose of trip specified on your visa application form or not approved by relevant Chinese government authorities. Violators of relevant laws and regulations will be punished.

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