China to Permit Visa-Free Entry for Australia and New Zealand

China to Permit Visa-Free Entry for Australia and New Zealand
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China has announced the implementation of a unilateral visa-free policy to Australia, allowing Australian passport holders to enter the country for business, tourism, and transit without a visa for up to 15 days.

This change would give Australians visa-free entry into China for up to 15 days and save them about $110, and about NZ$140 for Kiwis.

The two countries also jointly declared to provide multiple-entry visas mutually with a validity period of three to five years.  

In October 2023, the National Immigration Administration of China released a list of eligible countries for a 72/144-hour visa-free transit. Some cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Jiangsu-Zhejiang-Shanghai region, and Guangdong implemented the 72/144-hour visa-free transit policy for 53 countries, including the UK, France, and Australia.

On May 15th, 2024, the NIA announced to permit the entry of foreign tourists by cruise ship without a visa, facilitating inbound visits by Australian residents. According to NIA, the number of Australian visitors to China is continuously increasing.

Australia has a large community of Chinese origin. The introduction of the unilateral visa-free policy not only facilitates their visits to relatives and friends but also a chance to see the changes in China over the years.

In addition to Australia, New Zealand will also be included in the unilateral visa-free list, as flights between China and New Zealand have recovered quickly. Since December 2024, direct flights between China and New Zealand have recovered to that of the pre-pandemic period. Six airlines including Air New Zealand, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Air China, Hainan Airlines, and Cathay Pacific are offering direct flights from eight stops in China to New Zealand.

Since last year, China has been continuously expanding the unilateral visa-free countries. To date, China has implemented unilateral visa-free for countries including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium Luxembourg, etc. Additionally, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Georgia have been mutually visa-free countries with China.

Source: China Matters

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