Visitors to Mainland China will now be able to get visas on arrival, extend their stay in the country, and apply for multiple-entry permits more easily. At a press conference on Thursday, the National Immigration Administration announced several measures by which foreigners can enter the country for business, education, and tourism that come into effect on January 11.

Foreign nationals who need to visit Mainland China urgently for family and personal matters can get visas on arrival, providing they have supporting documents such as invitation letters. In addition, foreigners in the country for short-term unofficial and non-diplomatic and visits can get their visas extended, replaced, or reissued at the closest immigration office as opposed to only one near their registered address.

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Visitors to Mainland China can get visas on arrival if they need to enter the country for urgent family or personal reasons (@MJ_Prototype via Canva)

The Mainland Chinese government has reduced the physical paperwork for visas, and will allow applicants to upload digital copies of documents such as hotel accommodation and business licences. In addition, expatriates who live in the country only need to provide a declaration instead of a certification of kinship when applying for visas for relatives visiting from overseas.

Foreign citizens who already have a valid Chinese visa can apply for them to be converted to a multiple-entry permit, as long as they have reasons deemed valid by immigration authorities and provide supporting documents. It will also be easier for foreign travellers to transit through nine major Chinese airports — including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xiamen, and Guangzhou — as they will no longer need transit visas if their layovers are less than 24 hours long

See also
China Resumes Visa-Free Travel For Visitors From Hong Kong To Hainan, Guangdong, And Shanghai On Cruise Ships

These developments come soon after China’s announcement that nationals of 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. Immigration authorities 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.

Other measures include the recent move to allow US citizens who apply for Chinese tourism visas from their home country to provide fewer supporting documents during the application process. In addition, visa application fees for China have been reduced by 25% until December 31, 2024, for single, double, and multiple-entry visas.

Header image credits: Raita Futo via Flickr

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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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