For most people booking through travel agents this step will probably be handled by your travel agent but in my case and for many who step out there own journey its one of the things that you’ll have to take care of.
Fortunately its not to difficult. At the time of writing there are differing types of visas depending on whether you are travelling for business, working or just leisure or holidays. More info on: Chinese Visa Types.
For me, I just needed a tourist visa, or as they call it an L visa. Which was as simple as heading to the Consulate General of the Peoples Republic of China in Brisbane and filling out a fairly straightforward form and handing that over with my passport.
If your going to the visa office in Brisbane don’t expect any big signs or such, there’s just a small plaque on the wall out of sight to the left when you enter the building.
When you get to the visa office you simply fill out the form, if you haven’t already, stand in line and the clerk simply seems to read through to check everything is filled in and if its ok you leave your passport there and get given a ticket and told to come back in four working days with some cash to pick up your passport including the Chinese visa.
Its probably worth writing down the number on the ticket too, I think I read somewhere that its a hassle to get your passport back if you have lost the ticket…
The one thing that I was really unsure about was the fact that the smarttraveller.gov.au site states that china has been cracking down on requiring that persons travelling into china have an exiting flight booked. Hmmmm, not really something you want to do when your winging tit so to speak. But i took their advice and booked a flight out just before the end of my visa duration. I just booked the cheapest flight possible so I could toss it if plans changed, which at the time was a flight from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur.
I turns out that at the visa office in Brisbane werent interested in my flight bookings, and for what i could work out no one was during the entry process into China itself.