Mainland Chinese authorities have simplified the visa application process for American citizens who apply for tourist visas from within the US, according to a notice published on the website of the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C. From January 1, 2024, US citizens who apply for L-visas from their home country no longer have to provide Chinese immigration authorities with round-trip travel bookings, proof of hotel reservations, an itinerary, or an invitation letter.

The principal documents that US citizens now need to provide include their passports, completed visa application forms with passport-size photographs, information such as full names, dates of birth and gender, as well as arrival and departure dates. Applicants who have visited China before also need to provide a copy of their previous Chinese visas.

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The move is the latest in a series of measures to encourage foreigners to visit Mainland China. In November 2023, the Chinese government announced that visitors from six countries — France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia — are entitled to visa-free entry to the country for up to 15 days on a one-year trial basis. The National Immigration Administration also added Norway to the list of countries whose citizens can transit through China visa-free for up to 144 hours, bringing the total to 54.

In addition, visa application fees for China have been reduced by 25% until December 31, 2024, for single, double, and multiple-entry visas. Earlier in 2023, China released an updated visa application form, which requires travellers to disclose less information regarding their travel history, educational background, and family details. 

Header image credits: axz66 via Canva

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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