I'm interested in taking Chinese lessons in Shanghai, China for a 6 month period. I have paid for the lessons and been issued a "Letter of Acceptance" (potentially different from an "Admission Notice") from the school and have been told to apply for an X2 visa as that's what their previous Australian students have done in the past.

I have visited the Chinese Service Center in Melbourne, Australia twice in an attempt to acquire the X2 visa, but they have rejected it on the grounds that the Letter of Acceptance isn't an Admission Notice, and that the school's course as a whole isn't applicable to X2. That is it's not a higher education institute like university. Fair enough, that makes sense, but I can't find anything that explicitly states it needs to be higher education, only "study" which I believe this course qualifies for.

Instead they've offered me an F visa which I have not accepted at this point as the Chinese school insists that I should be able to acquire an X2 visa.

The question I have is has anyone else in Australia had this kind of experience, and if so, how did they resolve it?


X2 Visa - issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of no more than 180 days. Supporting Documents: Original and photocopy of Admission Notice issued by a school or other entities in China.

F Visa - *Issued to those who are invited to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other activities. Supporting Documents:

An invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China. The invitation should contain: Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.) Information on the planned visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures) Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)*

  • I feel that since most universities in China are public ones, "school" mostly have a specific definition referring to those schools. Maybe the Melbourne staff were being a bit pedantic here. Training agencies are essentially not registered so if X2 is applicable here then anybody can issue a letter claiming to provide a course for students, which the authority will have no way to verify, which is not good.
    – xji
    Jul 8 '16 at 1:30
  • Is there any reason why you need an X2 visa and cannot apply for the F visa? Chinese visa rules and their interpretation changes like the weather over time and by location. Also can you provide the name of your school and program, which I suppose is a private one.
    – mts
    Jul 19 '17 at 10:51

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