UPDATE: The article was updated to include Poland among the list of visa-exempt countries and the start and end dates of the visa-free policy.

Mainland China has expanded its 15-day visa-exemption programme to include Australia, New Zealand, and Poland. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning recently announced that Australian, New Zealand and Polish passport holders can enter the country without a visa for up to 15 days for holidays, business trips, to visit family and friends, and to transit. The measure will begin on July 1 and end on December 31, 2025.

The development is the latest in a series of measures taken by Mainland Chinese authorities to open up the country to international visitors. Last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs first granted ordinary passport holders from six nations visa-free access to the country for up to 15 days on a trial basis. Since then, the list has grown to a total of 15 nations, including the recent addition of Australia and New Zealand. Initially, travellers from these countries could enter the mainland without a visa until November 30, 2024, but the Chinese government recently extended the trial period to December 31, 2025.

Other Mainland Chinese visa-free policies include the recent one extended to foreign tourist groups that travel to China by cruise ships to 13 cities in the country. Visitors who enter Mainland China via the cruise ports of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Sanya, Haikou, Tianjin, Dalian, Lianyungang, Wenzhou, Zhoushan, Xiamen, Qingdao, and Beiha can stay for a maximum of 15 days. In addition, China scrapped its 24-hour transit visa and granted visa exemptions to citizens of 54 nations who enter the country to transit for up to 72 or 144 hours.

See also
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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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