Australian Embassy

Important News: Changes to Australian Visa Service Delivery in China

Back to Visas and Citizenship

From 10 September 2012 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is changing the way that visa services will be delivered in China. The two key changes include:

• The introduction of Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs) in Beijing and Shanghai and
• The creation of a number of ‘visa processing centres’

As a result of these changes, the location and way that a client lodges a visa application may also change.

Introduction of AVACs
Two AVACs operated by VFS Global Pty Ltd, will open in Beijing and Shanghai on 10 September 2012.

The AVACs will accept visa applications, handle basic enquiries from clients prior to their application being lodged, collect visa application charges and provide an online application tracking facility.

The introduction of AVACs will provide more convenient access to immigration services for clients through greater access to information, extended service hours and streamlined processing.

Creation of visa processing centres
In addition to the introduction of AVACs, there will also be changes to where certain visa applications are processed in China from 10 September.

Consolidating visa processing for certain visa applications into these processing centres will enable a greater level of consistency in processing and decision-making and will improve the service DIAC provides to clients in this region.

Impact on clients
These changes mean that from 10 September 2012, clients who reside in provinces within the Beijing and Shanghai catchment areas applying for most Australian visas should lodge their application at an AVAC in either Beijing or Shanghai.

Clients in the Guangzhou catchment applying in person or by mail for an Australian visa should continue to lodge their application directly with the Australian Visa Office at the Australian Consulate in Guangzhou.

There will be no change to the current lodgement and processing arrangements for Government officials applying via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or their local Foreign Affairs Office (FAO), Australian Destination Status (ADS) travel or Australian citizenship applications which should continue to be lodged directly with the nearest Australian Visa Office.

Further information
A printable Information Sheet outlining these changes is available.

See: AVAC Information Sheet

See: Where to Submit a Visa Application for details on where to apply for your visa.

See: FAQs for answers to frequently asked questions.

NOTE: Applications submitted to the Australian Visa Office in Beijing or Shanghai prior to 10 September 2012 will be finalised and returned to you by the office processing their application.

Back to Visas and Citizenship


Page last updated 28 November 2012