Applying for an overseas visitor visa while holding a Chinese passport is sometimes a bit troublesome so China Southern managed to reach an agreement with Australia and New Zealand to simplify applications for their status customers.
Under the arrangement SkyPearl Elites won’t be required to submit evidence of their financial or employment status when lodging an application.
The airline will issue a ‘Letter of Certification’ which will be accepted in lieu of the employers attestation and bank statements.
You can access China Southern’s landing page for this benefit here.
China Southern Airlines and Immigration New Zealand [and the Australian Consulate-General Guangzhou] are pleased to announce the launch of the Application Facilitation Service for China Southern Sky Pearl Club Gold Card and Silver Card members.
Under this Arrangement you will not be required to submit evidence of your financial or employment status when you lodge your application, if you present a China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club Gold and Silver Card Letter of Certification.
This is interesting in a way as the immigration authorities accept a customer’s frequent flier status and the airline vouching for their customers as proof of solvency.
The process is very simple:
- What kind of visa is applicable?
Visitor Visa to New Zealand. Applicants intending travel to New Zealand for tourism, visiting friends or relatives or discussing and negotiating business arrangements (if the intended stay is no longer than three months in any one year).
- Who can use this service?
Holders of China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club Gold and Silver cards (and well as their partner and dependent children if travelling together), who also have a standard passport from the People’s Republic of China.
- How can I use this Application Facilitation Service?
1. Apply for a China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club Gold and Silver Card Letter of Certification at the China Southern Airlines’ website with your current Sky Pearl Club account number and password.
- 2. You can apply for a New Zealand visitor visa online. Alternatively,submit the application at the New Zealand Visa Application Centre in China or Hong Kong with the Letter of Certification and the materials as listed bellow. Applications for visas to travel to New Zealand should be submitted at different locations according to which part of China you are living in.
The process is similar for Australia Visa Applications:
- What kind of visa is applicable?
Visitor visa to Australia – Tourist Stream or Business Visitor Stream.
- Submit the application at Australian Visa Application Centre in Guangzhou with the Letter of Certification and the materials listed in this China Southern Airlines Gold and Silver Card Holder Visitor Visa Checklist as bellow.Or express mail these materials toUnit 02, 29/F, HM Tower, No.3, Jinsui Road, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, P.R.China 510623. Wherever you are living in, you should apply at Australian Visa Application Centre in Guangzhou. If you have any questions, please contact with Australian Visa Application Centre in Guangzhou.
So this means no matter where in China the applicant resides, all applications have to be handled in Guangzhou. I guess it really depends what’s more practical for the applicant.
As per the website, the letter of certification will include:
China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club Gold and Silver Card Letter of Certification which includes information on the card holder’s tier in The Sky Pearl Club and the applicant’s flight record with China Southern or partner airlines within the previous 24 month period.
I haven’t heard from any of my Chinese friends that they were ever denied a visa but the amount of documents they sometimes have to produce is very inconvenient.
Without doubt the contribution of Chinese tourists to the economies of countries around the world is pretty significant. Chinese are now traveling abroad in droves and especially affluent travelers go on shopping sprees for luxury goods during their trips.
We have some readers in mainland China so maybe this information will be useful for those who are planning to travel to either New Zealand or Australia and are currently holding China Southern SkyPearl Status.
I don’t think it’s a problem for someone who can afford to travel abroad to bring by the necessary documents but it obviously simplifies things if you can leverage a frequent flier status in a way that it’s possible to completely circumvent parts of the process.
Back in the day when I registered for electronic immigration in Hong Kong, this was also possible due to my Marco Polo Diamond status, so it’s a valuable benefit if immigration authorities decide to trust frequent travelers with easier procedures to enter the country. After all their frequent travel at least indicates they will leave again sometime soon.