China implements measures to facilitate foreigners visiting China

China’s National Immigration Administration officially implements five measures to facilitate foreign nationals coming to China, effective on Thursday, including relaxing visa application requirements and simplifying visa application materials. This move represents China’s opening-up to the outside world continues to speed up.

At a conference held on Thursday, an official from China’s National Immigration Administration announced those measures. They include relaxing the conditions for foreign nationals to apply for port visas to China. For foreign nationals who urgently need to engage in business cooperation, visit exchanges, investment and other non-diplomatic and non-official activities, if they are unable to obtain a visa overseas in time, they can apply for a port visa to enter China by presenting invitation letters and other relevant supporting documents to the port visa authorities.

Foreign nationals can transit through  Guangzhou Baiyun  Airport and other designated international airports in China without going through immigration procedures for up to 24 hours. This policy applies to nine international airports, including Beijing Capital, Beijing Daxing, Shanghai Pudong, Hangzhou Xiaoshan, Xiamen Gaoqi, Guangzhou Baiyun, Shenzhen Bao’an, Chengdu Tianfu, and Xi’an Xianyang.

Travelers with international connecting flights within 24 hours can transit through any of these airports to a third country or region without going through immigration procedures and enjoy visa-free transit.

Foreigners who are in China for a short period of time to engage in business cooperation, visit exchanges, investment among other non-diplomatic and official activities, may apply for a visa extension or replacement from the local exit and entry administration of the public security organ if they have legitimate and reasonable reasons to continue staying in China.

Foreigners in China who need to enter and exit the country multiple times for legitimate reasons can apply for a multiple-entry visa by submitting an invitation letter and other relevant supporting documentation to the exit and entry administration.

For foreign nationals applying for visas, if their accommodation registration records and business licenses can be accessed through information sharing, they are exempt from providing relevant paper documents for verification. For foreign nationals in China applying for short-term family reunion visas, a declaration of kinship by the inviting person can be used instead of proof of kinship.

According to the official, as China’s economy continues to recover and improve, and its level of opening-up to the outside world expands, there has been a surge in demand for enhanced immigration management services from both domestic and foreign enterprises and individuals.

In response, the National Immigration Administration is proactively collaborating with relevant authorities to address key challenges and obstacles pertaining to the entry of foreigners for business, study, and tourism in China.

Border inspection authorities across China checked a total of 210 million visitors entering the country in 2023, recovering to 62.9 percent of the levels seen in 2019. The number of visitors entering the country will continue to rise in 2024 thanks to resumption of international flights and cross-border personnel exchanges, said official from the National Immigration Administration.

Last month, China rolled out a one-year visa-free policy to ordinary passport holders from six countries – France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia – starting from December 1, 2023. The move also aims to further facilitate cross-border people-to-people exchanges between China and foreign countries, and serve the country’s high-quality development and opening-up.

Announcement: China’s 72/144-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policies Now Cover 54 Countries

China has expanded the scope of its 72/144-hour transit visa-free policies to benefit visitors from Norway from November 17, 2023, increasing the number of countries covered by the policies to 54. Please check the updated list below of eligible countries:

Europe (40 countries): Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine;

The Americas (six countries): Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and the United States;

Oceania (two countries): Australia and New Zealand;

Asia (six countries): Brunei, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Qatar, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

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