Once you decide to start your career in China, you’re going to prepare for this activity thoroughly.
First of all, you have to decide on the sphere you want to work in.
Secondly, it’s important to choose the city and the company/school where you want to carry out your working activity.
You also need to find accommodation in China and solve some other daily matters.
And, of course, you have to obtain a Chinese work visa for Australia if you apply for a job from this country.
In our guide below, you’ll find the answers to all your questions about applying for a Chinese visa from Australia.
Keep reading to learn everything about this process.
Can I legally work in China with a Tourist, Business or Student visa?
Actually, the names of these visas convey activities you can carry out when you’re in the country.
The tourist visa implies visiting China for the purpose of having a holiday, sightseeing, attending places of interest, etc.
The study visa is the one you get when you want to receive an education in China.
The business visa enables you to take part in trading conferences or other activities connected with commerce in China.
This very visa also gives you a chance to teach English in China legally for a period of three months.
China Work Visa Requirements & Documents
Once you decide to apply for a Chinese work visa, you have to submit the following documents:
- A passport that should be valid for at least 6 months and have blank visa pages.
- Photocopy of passport information page.
- Passport photo. Please, bear in mind specific Chinese visa photo requirements.
Your photo should be taken within the previous 6 months. It should be a color photo of 48mm x 33 mm in size.
It has to have a white background.
Your appearance should be clear – no sunglasses or hats should conceal your face. Even head position has specific requirements like affordable tilt angle.
You can have a look at the example of a proper visa photo here.
- Type-written China visa application form.
- Non-Australian citizens have to submit proof of residence.
- If you have an Australian passport that was issued before 2015, a Chinese passport, or a previous Chinese visa, you have to submit them as well.
- Working permit provided by your employer.
How long does it take to get a Chinese Visa?
Visa to China application is usually processed for 4 working days on condition that you submit all necessary documents.
There is also a chance to get your visa ready faster if there is a need.
Thus, express service implies you can collect your passport with a visa on the third day after application. And rush service allows you to do it on the second day.
But keep in mind that to apply for rush service, you have to submit the papers till 12 a.m.
If you apply for your visa by post, the processing time is 10 days.
Moreover, there is no chance to speed up the process if you choose this way of application.
So if you need your visa as soon as possible, you have to submit all documents in person.
How much does a Chinese visa cost from Australia?
The price of your visa depends on your citizenship and type of service you choose.
For Australian citizens, regular service, which takes 4 business days, costs 109.5 Australian dollars.
If you order express service, it will cost you 167 AUD, and the rush one is 207 AUD.
For those using the postal service, the fee is 131.5 AUD.
For the citizens of other countries who apply for Z visa from Australia, the prices are different. To learn the exact prices, address a visa service center in your area.
How long is the duration of stay of Chinese Z visa?
Employment visa is valid for 30 days and it means that you have to enter the country during this period of time. However, it doesn’t mean that your work permit lasts one month.
You need a Z visa only to enter China. And when it comes to your working activity, a residence permit is what you’re required to obtain.
This document is issued at the Public Security Bureau (PSB) Exit and Entry Administration for 30 days after your arrival in China.
Once you get the permit, you’re allowed to stay in China for the period implied in your work contract.
When should I apply for a Chinese work visa?
General advice for all visa applicants is to submit the documents one month before the date you have to enter China.
One month is considered enough to process your visa application even if you submit your papers prior to national holidays.
Where can I get a working permit for China?
Fortunately for employment visa applicants, getting a working permit is the responsibility of an employer.
This means you don’t need to go to any institutions and deal with bureaucratic procedures.
The only thing you have to do is to send your potential employer all the documents he/she needs to obtain the permit at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China.
The list of papers includes your passport copy, recent passport photo, a medical form, criminal record check, bachelor’s degree, and TEFL certificate (if your school asks for it).
Before submitting the abovementioned documents, you need to go through the process of legalizing them in the Chinese embassy.
We’ve come up with useful tips and a step-by-step process on how to go through documents legalization for Work Z Visa when it comes to different policies with certain countries. Check the guide by this link:
What is the age limit for the Z visa application?
As a rule, Z visa is issued to the people no younger than 18 and no older than 60. However, every rule has an exception.
For example, people acknowledged as foreigners of high talent can work in China even if they are in their sixties.
What are the different types of Chinese Visas (and the additional requirements for getting them)?
Chinese visas are divided into twelve types, each of which has a different purpose. When choosing a visa for your visit to China, make sure it describes your aims precisely.
Crew member (C)
If you work on an international aircraft, train, ship, or work as a driver in a company that provides international transportation services, you need this visa type. C category visa is also issued to the family members who travel with crew staff.
You need either an invitation letter or a letter of guarantee provided by the international company you work for.
This is the visa you need to obtain if you want to work in China legally.
In addition to all the basic documents, you need to have an invitation (or confirmation) letter from the company you will work for.
Foreigner’s work permit is one more crucial document to have with you.
Permanent residence (D)
The visa is given to people who want to live in China on a permanent basis.
To get this visa, you also need to address to the Ministry of Public Security of China to get the Confirmation Form for Foreigners Permanent Residence Status.
Once you do it, you have to submit the original and photocopy of this document together with other documents.
The purpose of obtaining this visa is quite obvious. Students planning to continue their education in China need X visa.
There are two types:
- X1 visa for a long-term stay
- X2 visa for a short-term stay
If you need to stay in China longer than 180 days, you’ll need to submit a special document from the Chinese Ministry of Education – so-called JW201 (or JW202) form. You might also be required to have a medical certificate.
A family member or relative of Chinese citizens (Q)
This visa is issued to relatives of Chinese citizens (or foreigners who have permanent resident status) in case they have some family matters. They can be a reunion or foster care.
There are two types:
- Q1 visa for a long-term stay
- Q2 visa for a short-term stay
If you’re going to stay with your relatives in China for less than 180 days, you need to have an invitation letter with you.
Those who plan to stay longer than 180 days will be required to submit more documents.
Depending on the purpose of the visit, you might need to show marriage, birth, or kinship certificate as well as many more.
The list of documents is large, so it’s better for you to address the Chinese Consular Office in your country and ask which papers you need in your situation.
Personal matters (S)
This type of visa is similar to the type Q. You might need this very visa if you need to visit relatives or friends. If you have some medical care issues in China, you’ll also have to obtain this visa.
There are two types:
- S1 visa for a long-term stay
- S2 visa for a short-term stay
The same as for the type Q visa.
Foreigner of high talent or specialist (R)
R visa is given to people who can benefit China. They might be scientists, politicians, or other genius people who can have a positive influence on China development.
As ‘talent’ is quite a vague notion, people might be asked to have very different documents with them. But in general, these are certifications that prove their skills.
Exchange, visits, study tours or other relevant activities (F)
Whether you go to China for the purpose of academic, cultural, or religious exchange, volunteering, or similar activity, an F visa is what you need.
You should have an invitation letter.
Commercial trade (M)
This visa is given to those who go to China in order to carry out some commercial activities.
You should have an invitation letter from the trading company you’re cooperating with.
A transit visa is given to people who travel through China when the country isn’t their final destination.
However, you might not even need a G visa in case transit takes place in specific Chinese cities and lasts no longer than 72 or 144 hours.
If you do need to get a transit visa, be ready to have an onboard ticket to your final destination close at hand.
No need to mention, this visa is given to people who go to China as tourists, either alone or with group or people.
In order not to allow people from other countries to stay in China illegally, Chinese visa rules require that you have the following documents:
- Return plane ticket with dates and surnames (copy)
- Chinese hotel booking with dates and surnames (copy)
- An invitation letter if you stay at your friend’s home
- Sometimes, you’ll need bank documents that confirm your financial background
If you work in a foreign news company and are going on a business trip (for a long or short period of time), you’ll need J visa.
There are two types:
- J1 visa for a long-term stay
- J2 visa for a short-term stay
Be sure you have an official letter from the media company you work for.
Plus, it’s necessary to get a Visa Notification Letter in the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.
What is the difference between a Chinese tourist and business visa?
Tourist and business visas definitely serve different purposes.
Tourist or L visa is issued to people who travel to China for a holiday, festival, sightseeing, or any other activities that tourism implies.
Please note that to get a Chinese tourist visa, at least two people have to travel together. It can also be issued to a group of tourists.
Business or M visa is what you need when the purpose of your visit to China is a commercial activity such as visiting a conference or going on a business trip.
Which visa applies to accompany family members of Z visa applicants?
If there is a need to accompany or visit a person working in China, his/her family members will have to apply for an S visa.
This visa is issued to those traveling to China to resolve personal matters.
Please keep in mind that to get this visa, an invitation letter from an expat working in China is a must. And if S visa applicant is going to stay in the country for more than 180 days, a document that proves family relationships should be submitted.
Is it possible to apply online?
Getting a Chinese work visa online is impossible. However, Australian citizens have two other options for its application – in person at the CVASC office or by post.
If you have a chance to visit a visa center personally, you should address the one that serves your area. There are one embassy and four consulates in five Australian cities.
Note that before going to the center to submit your documents, you have to make an online appointment at the CVASC site.
In case you can’t visit a visa center, it’s possible to send your documents by postal service. If you choose this option, be ready to wait for your visa for 10 working days.
The full process of applying for a Chinese Z visa step by step
Applying for a Chinese visa in Australia doesn’t differ much from the process in other countries. Yet, here is a detailed instruction to help you do everything right.
- Check the list of necessary documents. Prepare the originals and copies to submit to the Chinese embassy.
- Download an application form from the CVASC site. Fill it with an Adobe Acrobat Reader and print it out.
- At the CVASC site, make an appointment on the day when it’s convenient for you to come in person and hand in the documents.
- Visit the chosen center to submit the papers.
- Wait until your application is processed, come to the center, pay the fee and collect your passport.
As we have already mentioned, you can also apply for your visa by post. On choosing this variant, you’ll have to take different steps.
- Gather all the documents as well as a filled application form to apply for a visa.
- Download a Payment Authorization Form (you can find it at the CVASC site) and fill it out.
- Prepare a return envelope with stamps and your address on it.
- Put all the documents in an envelope and send it to a necessary visa center.
- Track the process of delivery using your mail tracking number.
- Check the progress of your visa application processing on the center’s site.
- Collect your passport with a visa when it is returned to you by mail.
What Visas must be converted into a Resident Permit once I enter China and how to do so?
A resident permit is a must-have document for people who are going to stay in China longer than 180 days. And only five Chinese visas imply the duration of stay this long.
They are work, journalism, personal matters, family reunion, and study.
To get the permit, the first thing you have to do is gather all necessary documents. You will need your passport, employment documents, results of medical examination, and accommodation registration.
While the former two documents you have with you, the latter two are issued to you on your arrival in China.
Once you have all the papers at hand, address the Public Security Bureau (PSB) Exit and Entry Administration in your area.
Please note that you should get a resident permit for 30 days upon your arrival.
Can I extend/change my Visa once I enter China?
The Chinese government foresees a possibility of situations when an expat has the right to extend or change his/her visa while he/she is in the country.
You can request a visa extension/change when your current visa is going to expire.
However, every case is considered individually and there’s no guarantee you will be allowed to do this.
Anyway, you can address the Entry/Exit Bureau if you need to extend your visa.
What happens if I overstay my Visa?
Overstaying your visa in China isn’t the thing you want to do since it has unpleasant consequences.
Once your visa expires, hotels, airports, and other establishments can refuse to provide you services.
Moreover, fines are possible. People who overstay their visa for 20 days are required to pay a fine of 500 RMB a day.
Those staying in China longer than 20 days after their visa has expired are likely to be sent to a detention camp and deported.
One more possible penalty for visa overstaying is a prohibition on visiting China for the next ten years.
Why does my Chinese visa application gets rejected?
There are different reasons for visa rejection, but as a rule, you’re never explained why it has happened. That’s why you want to do your best to prevent your application denial. By this, we mean the following:
- Make sure all your documents are in order. You should have all the required papers filled in properly.
- An application form must contain only true information. Plus, it has to be type-written.
- Check whether your passport photo meets all requirements including its size, head position, and photo paper quality.
Contacts of Chinese embassies in Australia
You can apply for a Chinese visa in either a Chinese embassy in Canberra or one of four consulates general in other cities. Have a look at the contacts below to choose the most convenient option for you.
Address: Suite20, level 2, Canberra House, 40 Marcus Clarke Street
Phone number: 02 6279 7800
Address: Level 1, 140 William Street, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Phone number: +61-2-94758800
Address: Ground Floor, 570 ST. Kilda Road
Phone number: +61-3-9937-2308
Address: Part Level 4, 140 Ann Street
Phone number: +61-7-3031-6300
Address: Ground Floor, 256 Adelaide Terrace
Phone number: 08 9220 3800
Chinese visa centers in Australia don’t work during Australian and Chinese national holidays.
These are 19 days a year except for Saturdays and Sundays. Keep this information in mind when arranging an appointment at a visa center.