China released a new version of its visa application form on September 20, which requires visitors to disclose less information regarding their travel history, educational background, and family details.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The optimisation involves 7 major items and 15 sub-items, which are mainly related to the applicant’s educational background, family members’ information, past travel experience, etc.,” adding that these changes will allow applicants to spend much less time filling in the forms and have a more streamlined visa application process.
These sections in the new application form for China have the following changes:
- Travel Information in the Past: Applicants only have to provide information about their international travel over the past 12 months, as opposed to the previous five-year requirement. Those who have previously visited Mainland China must still disclose information about their prior visas, but do not need to provide details about their previous travel to the Mainland.
- Education: Mainland immigration authorities now require applicants to list only their highest education qualification, whereas in the old forms, they had to list all their post-high school degrees. The ‘language skills’ sub-section under in this part of the form has been removed.
- Travel Information: The question about whether an applicant is travelling alone or not has been removed.
- Work Information: Applicants now only have to provide information about employers they have worked for over the past five years. Previously, there was no specified time period.
Earlier this year, China resumed issuing visas for tourists to foreigners for the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mainland Chinese authorities also stated that multi-year multi-entry visas issued before March 28, 2020 would still be considered valid.
Foreigners who wish to visit China for tourism need an L-Visa, for which they must:
- Fill out an application form online and take a printout of it
- Have a passport valid for at least six months
- Take a colour passport photograph against a white background
- Provide proof of resident status of the country or territory they are staying in if they are applying from outside their home country
- Provide a copy of any previous Chinese passports or Chinese visas they may have
- Provide a round-trip air ticket and proof of a hotel reservation, or an invitation letter
To apply for a visa to visit Mainland China from Hong Kong, click here.
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