China Announces Visa-Free Travel for Australia & NZ

By Billy Jiang

In a landmark move, Chinese Premier Li Qiang announced visa-free travel for Australians, just days after a similar arrangement was revealed for New Zealand.

READ MORE: China Grants New Zealand Visa-Free Travel

The news was delivered this morning, June 17, marking another significant step in strengthening bilateral ties between China and countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

During his visit, Premier Li also revealed that both countries will issue three-year and five-year visas for business, tourism, and family visits. 

While the specific start and end dates for the visa-free policy have yet to be disclosed, it is expected to follow China's existing visa-free arrangements with 25 other countries, which typically allow for 15-day stays and remain valid until the end of 2025.

READ MORE: China Extends Visa Exemptions Until End of 2025

In recent years, the significant improvement in China-Australia relations has been underscored by the acceleration of Chinese tourism to Australia, as highlighted by data from the 2024 Australian Tourism Exchange; as of May 2024, the number of Chinese visitors to Victoria, Australia, has risen to second place, only behind New Zealand, with Chinese tourists leading in expenditure.

The increase in tourism has been supported by the expansion of flight routes between the two nations; Sichuan Airlines has introduced a Chengdu to Sydney route, and Capital Airlines has launched direct flights from Hangzhou to Melbourne, among others.

Since December 2023, China has rolled out a series of visa-free policies that cover several European countries, as well as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and other nations in Southeast Asia, drawing a diverse array of international tourists.

These strategic moves aim to reduce barriers for international visitors and enhance the accessibility of travel to China.

READ MORE: Here's How to Travel to China Visa-Free...

For those planning trips to China, the Chinese National Immigration Administration has provided official clarifications on various aspects of the visa-free policy.

READ MORE: Your Questions on China's Visa-Free Travel Answered...

For all your travel tips, visa advice, and insider recommendations on exploring China, stay tuned to our China Travel Tips series. 

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[Cover image by That's]

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