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I am looking to travel to Hong Kong then China for business, from Australia. I applied for, and received an Australian passport. I have a prior conviction in 2011 for which I was sentenced to 2 years in jail, to be released after 7 months. I also had a DUI in 2011, whereby I lost my license for 2 months.

I applied for a Chinese visa, and I disclosed on the application that I have had a conviction.

The Chinese visa center rang me the day after I lodged the application, and stated that it was bad news, and to come and collect my passport. I asked the person what happens from here, and he told me to "Just go to the border after you fly to Hong Kong, and ask for a visa". I collected it, and then visited the Chinese consulate in person.

I asked if I could speak to someone regarding the visa, and I was re-directed to the visa center. I then asked if I would be permitted to visit Hong Kong. The person at the counter confirmed I hold an Australian passport, then verbally informed me that it would be ok to go.

My questions:

  1. Have I been "officially refused a visa"?

  2. What, now is the process of re-applying for a Chinese visa?

  3. It appears, as an Australian, that I have to fill out a "Hong Kong immigration card". It does not appear to ask about criminal history here.

  4. What is the correct process for me to enter Hong Kong?

1

I can only answer you about the questions related to Hong Kong.

In practical purposes, Hong Kong and China are separate "countries" in terms of immigration. Australians may go to Hong Kong visa free so you may try to travel to Hong Kong with your passport. However, your criminal conviction, if found out by Hong Kong authority, is a deciding factor whether you will be allowed into Hong Kong territory.

Every visitor to Hong Kong needs to fill out an immigration card on arrival.

Getting a China visa on border is not an option unless you want to visit Shenzhen only. There is no such thing in China. I'm not sure if tourists are allowed to get a China visa in Hong Kong.

However, you may get around the Chinese visa requirement if you only stays in area where 72 / 144 hours TWOV is available, by flying direct from Hong Kong and fly back to Australia there.

  • 2
    "I'm not sure if tourists are allowed to get a China visa in Hong Kong." Yes they can. But it is usually more practical to apply via a travel agency, rather than directly at the Chima Resources Building. – user67108 May 20 '18 at 6:42
  • 1
    Does the HK immigration card ask about criminal convictions? – JonathanReez Sep 15 '18 at 18:53

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