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  • Writer's pictureScott SK Fong

Visiting China for a Factory Tour (2023 edition)

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

The good news is - the "what me worry" test, is a thing of the past. All that is required now is an entry visa.


The process of getting a visa to travel to China from Australia, America and the UK can vary depending on the type of visa and the applicant's circumstances. Here are some general steps and requirements:



For Australian passport holders:

  • Hold a valid Australian passport with at least six months validity remaining from the date of entry into China2.

  • Obtain a visa prior to arrival in the People's Republic of China (PRC) 3.

  • The visa application process takes approximately 2 weeks to complete1.

  • Applicants can apply in person at the Chinese embassy or visa center in any major city in Australia, or use the online application process5.

For American citizens:

  • Hold a valid US passport with at least 2 blank visa pages and more than 6 months validity remaining6.

  • Obtain a visa prior to arrival in the People's Republic of China (PRC) 3.

  • Applicants can apply in person at the Chinese embassy or consulate in the US, or use the online application process6.

  • Visa applicants need to log on to the website “China Online Visa Application (COVA)” to fill in the COVA forms, and make appointments for on-site submission at the Visa Office by the website “Appointment for Visa Application Submission (AVAS)”6.

General requirements for a China visa:

  • Passport6.

  • Photographs4.

  • Letter of Invitation or proof of travel itinerary46. Pro-tip: Keep a copy of this letter on your mobile device. Immigration officers have been observed to request it at the counter.

  • Proof of state residency4.

  • Visa application form6.

  • Visa fee payment56.

It is important to note that the visa application process and requirements can vary depending on the type of visa and the applicant's circumstances. It is recommended to check with the Chinese embassy or consulate in the applicant's country for specific information and guidance.


For UK citizens, a visa is required to enter mainland China, including Hainan Island, but not Hong Kong or Macao2.


The Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the UK require the following basic documents for visa applications: a passport with at least six months of remaining validity, blank visa pages, and a photocopy of the bio data page; a completed visa application form with a recently-taken colour passport photo against a light background attached; proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to non-British applicants); and previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable to foreign nationals who once held Chinese nationality)1.

All visa applicants aged between 14 and 70 inclusive need to make their visa application in person at a Visa Application Centre, and biometric data (scanned fingerprints) has to be provided2.


The Chinese Visa Application Centres in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh are operating, and details of opening hours are on their respective websites2.


Holders of valid APEC Business Travel Cards or study residence permits will be allowed to enter China3. It is important to check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for China’s current entry restrictions and requirements, as these may change with little warning4.


UPDATE!! - Health declaration procedures below are no longer required as of 1/Nov/2023 ********************************************************************************


HEALTH DECLARATION - ALL TRAVELLERS

Upon entry and exit, a health declaration will need to be filled out. One of the best ways to is to fill in this form Online, 24 hours before entry.



You will receive a QR code - that you are recommended to save locally on your device - then use it to scan at the entry/exit gate reader.


If you have a WeChat account (Chinese version of WhatsApp), you can download a mini-program called "China Customs" and fill in the health declaration form there. The convenience is that your details are saved for future entry and exit forms. Check out the steps below.





Good luck, have fun and safe travels.

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