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How To Obtain A Chinese Tourist Visa As An Australian Citizen

I have recently successfully applied for a Chinese Tourist Visa (April 2013) and have to say that it was far easier than my research had me believe.

Like any savvy traveller I went straight for the Chinese Embassy website to take a look at what is required to obtain a Chinese Visa. Just like every other foreign embassy website the information was outdated and the design is hard to use. But this is the only information that I looked at:

I live in Adelaide which means I had to post my Passport and Visa application to Canberra to get approved. The process is a bit different and the third page that I listed above has all the information.

Dont Ask Your Friends

I made the mistake of crowdsourcing information from the Facebook friends and regrettably I only returned horror stories about how difficult obtaining this visa was.

Here’s an example of what I received -

They’re being more thorough, and I have heard of people being rejected for tiny, meaningless problems with their itinerary. Like being booked into two different hotels on the same night, or something.

And from another friend who was rejected 3 times in March 2013 to obtain her Visa -

…all you needed to do was fill out the form, show your flight details and give a reply paid envelope. That got rejected they said i needed to send it to some place in Brisbane who would then send it to them. So I sent it there and didnt realise it cost an extra for them to do it so they sent it back and asked for my invitation letter. I sent them the invitation letter with my mums passport and they sent it back because they wanted her visa too! So anyway I just went in with everything the last time and i got it in 3 days. they are ridiculous.

There were another 2 people that told me similar stories that have all applied for Chinese visas in 2013. It was at this point that I was beginning to fret as time is limited as I only have 7 weeks to obtain 3 visas by sending my passport to Canberra every time.

Why I Believed Things Were So Difficult

Accommodation

The Visa application form has a tabulated question which asks you to list all of your planned residences for your stay in China.

Section 3 of the above link also outlines that

“(3)Applicants who apply for tourist visa should provide tour itinerary, including flight and hotel booking.”

For anyone that has done a bit of travel you will realise how frustrating it would be to actually have accommodation booked for your entire journey. It’s just too much of a constraint that would take the thrill away from the uncertainty of travel.

Evidently, proof of accommodation is not a big part of the Visa application process as I not only listed a Hostel that I had not booked (I found it on HostelWorld) but for Beijing, I simply left it blank. I think that ‘anything is good enough’ approach will suffice for this section and would feel comfortable if I had simply made up Hotel names.

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