If you are an Australian heading to China on holiday you need to organise a visa before you go. Just follow these simple steps and you’re passport will be stamped and the visa pasted in ready for you to explore China.
I have learnt a lot about applying for visas this last fortnight.
I know how to do it now and really needed to share it here after I learnt from my own mistakes along the way.
This is all about applying for a visa in person at the Melbourne Visa Service Centre. Each Australian state will be different.
First up You can never have too much paper work!!! just keep that in mind as you seemingly photo copy so much information.
- Apply for your visa less than 3 months before your trip. The visa will only be valid for 3 months. We applied for ours with 6 weeks to go.
- Head to the website and download the application form. You can find it here. You could also drop into the office if you live in the city.
- You will need passport pics which you can do yourself at home, at Australia Post or Officeworks. Usually they cost around $14 for 6.
- Prebook all your accommodation for the entire trip. I used Booking.com as it meant I could book without payment just incase I needed to change things later on. On my first appointment ( yes I went in twice!) I was told that for a 15 night stay I needed 8 nights booked but I thought it smarter to just book the whole trip and have too much information.
- Book your flights/train/bus in and out of China and print this information out. We printed out our voucher from the Trans Mongolian train even though the tickets had not been issued as yet.
- Photo copy your passport page.
- Photo copy the kids birth certificates and bring in the originals for the appointment.
- You can make an appointment online or just turn up. I went on a Wednesday at 11am and was second in line.
- Fill in all the forms per passport. We filled in 5.
- Take in your original passport.
- Take all your paper work mentioned above to the appointment.
- At the appointment grab a ticket from the machine and wait for your number to be called.
- Staff will thoroughly go through each piece of paper and ask questions about your itinerary.
- Receipt will be issued and it takes 4 days for the visa to be issues.
- Come back 4 days later and take a ticket and join the queue for passport pickup. Payment is made on the day. There is an ATM in the foyer if needed but I just paid with a Credit card. Each visa at time of writing was $105
- Enjoy your trip!
The Visa Centre is located at 570 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.
There are trams that go out the front.
Parking is ticketed in all streets around the building and very limited and busy so best to park around the corner and walk back.
The building is wheelchair accessible and has a designated wheelchair height desk for your appointment.