China reopens visas for Australians

June 25, 2022 9:00 am

Australians can now apply for work and family reunion visas to China, which is still pursuing its COVID-zero strategy. [Source: abc NEWS]

After studying for years in Australia, Lynn Luo cannot wait to return to China: She has already booked her ticket home for August.

However, when the 24-year-old international student tested positive for COVID-19 after a getaway with friends in April, she knew she would have to jump through several extra hoops before her departure.

Now she will be required to take six PCR tests over two months.

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Each test can cost up to $120 from private providers, which supply the approved paperwork required by the Chinese embassy.

This week, the embassy announced changes for foreign travellers, meaning Australians can apply for work or family reunion visas for the first time since March 2020.

However, like Ms Luo, anyone with a previous COVID-19 infection — even if it was two years ago — will face a more complicated and costly process.

Ms Luo said she was “devastated” and thought the rules were “unreasonable”.

“I was a little bit scared when I was first diagnosed,” she said.

Yet hers was a mild case.

“After I recovered, I felt it was just a big cold,” she said.

“I don’t think people need to spend so much time [doing the tests] once they’ve recovered.”