Mainland China will give ordinary passport holders from six nations visa-free access to the country as part of a trial programme from December 1, 2023-November 30, 2024. Citizens from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia can visit China for tourism, business, family, and transit visits for up to 15 days during this year-long period.

The latest move is part of the government’s efforts to open up the country as, currently, only citizens of Brunei and Singapore may enter Mainland China without a visa for 15 days. Earlier this month, the National Immigration Administration 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.

Bosnia and HerzegovinaLithuaniaSweden
CroatiaMaltaUnited Kingdom
Czech RepublicMontenegroArgentina
DenmarkThe NetherlandsBrazil
EstoniaNorth MacedoniaCanada
GermanyPortugalUnited States
HungaryRussiaNew Zealand
BruneiJapanSouth Korea
QatarSingaporeUnited Arab Emirates
The list of countries whose nationals can enter Mainland China visa-free for up to 144 hours

Under this policy, nationals of these countries who transit through Changsha, Guilin, and Harbin can stay in these areas without visas for 72 hours, while those that head to third countries via 20 other cities — including Beijing and Shanghai — can remain for up to 144 hours.

China resumed issuing visas to foreigners in March this year after three years, and reinstated its visa-free entry policy for tourists travelling from Hong Kong to Hainan Island, Guangdong, and to Shanghai on cruise ships. Immigration authorities also simplified the visa application process in September, requiring visitors to disclose less information regarding their travel history, educational background, and family details. The country also dropped the last of its Covid-19 restrictions on November 1, when it stopped requiring travellers to Mainland China from Hong Kong to fill out a health declaration form before they cross the border.

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Header image credits: bingdian 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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