Frequently Asked Questions

Are you planning a trip to China’s mainland? If so, you probably have a lot of questions about the visa application process. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this article, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about applying for a Chinese visa. Whether you’re wondering about the types of visas available, where to apply, or how long it takes to process your application, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in!

Do I need a visa to go to China’s mainland?

Usually, overseas residents need a visa to enter China’s mainland. There are some exceptions for visa-free entry, but most travelers will need to apply for a visa in advance. Australian passport holders, for example, should apply for a visa before visiting China’s mainland. To find out if you qualify for visa-free entry or for more information, you can consult the Chinese Embassy.

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What kind of visa should I apply for?

The type of visa you should apply for depends on the purpose of your visit. There are different visa categories available, such as tourist visas, business visas, and student visas. The consular officer will determine the type of visa that is appropriate for your situation. For more information on the different visa types, you can visit the official visa application website.

Where should I apply for a visa?

If you are an ordinary passport holder in Australia, you should apply for a Chinese visa through the local Chinese Visa Application Service Center, according to the consular districts. Diplomatic or official passport holders should submit their visa applications to the relevant Chinese Embassy or Consulate-General. The Consular District of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Sydney is New South Wales. It’s important to submit your visa application in the correct consular district to avoid any rejections. For more detailed information, you can visit the official website.

When should I apply for a visa?

It is recommended that you submit your visa application one month before your planned trip to China. Applying too early may result in your visa expiring before your trip, while applying too late may not leave you enough time to obtain your visa. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is advised to submit your application 1-2 months in advance. Processing times may be longer than usual, so plan accordingly.

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

If you have submitted all the required documents, it usually takes about 4 business days to process your visa application. However, this may vary on a case-by-case basis. If you need your visa urgently, you can request express service for an additional fee, which takes about 3 business days. It’s important to collect your visa in a timely manner, as it will be canceled if not collected within three months from the collection date. During the COVID-19 pandemic, processing times may be longer, so it’s best to contact the Chinese Visa Application Service Center for the most up-to-date information.

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Should I appear in person to apply for or collect my visa? Is there any mail service?

After the implementation of the biometric visa, applicants are required to visit the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Sydney in person for fingerprint collection, unless exempted. The center will determine if a return mail service is applicable to you. If you are exempted from fingerprint collection, you may still need to appear in person for an interview if required by the Consulate-General of China in Sydney. For more information, you can contact the Chinese Visa Application Service Center directly.

Can I check other applicants’ visa application information?

No, you cannot check other applicants’ visa application information on the Chinese Embassy/Consulate-General or Chinese Visa Application Service Center websites.

Can I change my travel itinerary after getting a visa?

Yes, you can change your travel itinerary, but you must enter China before your visa expires. It’s important to note that neither the Chinese Embassy nor the Consulate-General will take any responsibility if your visa becomes invalid due to changes in your itinerary.

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

No, the validity, duration of each stay, and number of entries cannot be changed after the visa is issued. If you wish to make changes, you will need to submit a new visa application and pay the fee again.

Can I enter China after I get the visa?

Having a visa does not guarantee entry into China. The final decision on your entry will be made by Chinese immigration authorities in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations.

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I have 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, you can travel with both passports to China if your bio-data, such as your name, gender, date of birth, and citizenship, remain exactly the same as in your previous passport. Additionally, the purpose of your next trip to China should be the same as permitted in your previous visa. However, if there are any changes, you will need to apply for a new visa with your new passport, and your previous visa will be canceled without a refund.

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

As long as the duration of each stay allows, you may continue to stay in China even if your visa expires.

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

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

Visa exemption of Bilateral Agreements and Residence Permit

If you meet the requirements of visa-free agreements between China and your country, you may not need a visa. You can check the list of agreements on visa exemption for more information. Chinese Residence Permit holders may enter or exit China multiple times without needing a visa during the validity of their permit.

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Visa-free transit

For information on visa-free transit, please consult the National Immigration Administration of China or the local immigration authorities where you plan to visit or transit.

Other visa exemption types

For more information on other types of visa exemptions, please refer to the China Consular Service website.

How do foreign residents visit HKSAR and Macao SAR?

According to the Basic Law of HKSAR and the Basic Law of Macao SAR, HKSAR and Macao SAR implement their own immigration control. If you plan to visit HKSAR and Macao SAR, please consult the websites of their respective immigration departments for more information.

I’m planning to visit HKSAR, Macao SAR, and other cities in China’s mainland. Do I need different visas?

If you are planning to travel to China’s mainland, HKSAR, and Macao SAR at the same time, you will need to apply for a visa for each of these regions, unless you meet the requirements for visa exemption.

What should a foreign citizen know during their 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 their travel specified in their visa application or not approved by relevant Chinese authorities. Violators may face punishment according to the law.


We hope this FAQ article has answered some of your questions about applying for a Chinese visa. Remember to plan ahead and apply in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to China’s mainland. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact the Chinese Visa Application Service Center or visit the iBlog website for more information. Happy travels!

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