It’s now easier than ever to visit or transit through China, with visa requirements being scrapped for many travellers. It’s welcome news for many Australian leisure and business travellers. This is because you would previously needed to fill out lengthy forms and pay a fee to obtain a visa.

Effective from 1 July 2024 until 31 December 2025, the Chinese government now allows ordinary Australian passport holders to visit or pass through China for under 15 days without needing to apply for a visa.

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How do I visit China visa-free?

As the Chinese Embassy in Australia explains, “Citizens holding ordinary passports of Australia travelling to China for business, tourism, family visit or transit purposes with the duration not exceeding 15 days, are eligible for visa-free entry from the open sea, land, airports of China.”

If that applies to you, you can plan to travel to China without needing to inform the consulate or obtain any approval in advance. The visa-free status will be verified at your port of entry.

However, diplomatic and official passport holders still need to apply for a visa. So, too, does anyone who lodged an application before 1 July 2024 or who plans to reside for more than 15 days. This arrangement’s current end date is 31 December 2025. However, there is a chance it could be extended if the trial is successful.

Entranced by the glimmering Shanghai skyline. Photo: Brandon Loo

Citizens of New Zealand and Poland are also included in the latest visa-free update.

How can I fly to China with points?

With many airlines flying to China either non-stop or with a stop, you have plenty of choices when using points. China Eastern Airlines is a Qantas partner, and you can redeem Qantas Points on non-stop flights to Shanghai, Nanjing and more.

In the example below, a one-way reward from Melbourne to Nanjing in Business is only 90,000 points + A$112 – not bad for just over 11 hours in the air!

Availability for two: a great deal at only 90,000 Qantas Points + A$112, per person.

With Qantas Points, you can also fly Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong, Japan Airlines via Tokyo, China Airlines via Taipei and more. Have Velocity Points instead? Try Singapore Airlines via Singapore or ANA via Tokyo.

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Photos in this article by Brandon Loo, who travelled at his own expense.

China unlocks visa-free travel for Australians was last modified: July 2nd, 2024 by Brandon Loo