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China relaxes visa norms for business, education & tourism

In an effort to revitalise a sluggish economy, the Chinese government will be relaxing certain visa requirements, aiming to facilitate smoother travel experiences for foreigners engaging in business, education, and tourism activities.

According to a Bloomberg report, citing China’s state broadcaster on Thursday, the National Immigration Administration outlined five steps including letting foreigners apply for re-entry visas, simplifying visa application, and allowing those who need to enter China urgently for work or other reasons to apply for port visas, or visa on arrival.

As part of its extensive initiatives to allure international tourists, China has implemented various measures since reopening its borders in early 2023 following the easing of pandemic restrictions.

Over the past year, China has expanded visa-free entry to additional countries and increased the frequency of direct flights to various overseas destinations.

Additional measures include permitting travelers to apply for visa extensions or replacements at the nearest police station and exempting those transiting within 24 hours from border inspection at airports such as Beijing and other international hubs.

This policy applies to nine international airports, including Beijing Capital, Beijing Daxing, Shanghai Pudong, Hangzhou Xiaoshan, Xiamen Gaoqi, Guangzhou Baiyun, Shenzhen Bao’an, Chengdu Tianfu, and Xi’an Xianyang.

Travelers with international connecting flights within 24 hours can transit through any of these airports to a third country or region without going through immigration procedures and enjoy visa-free transit.

Last month, China rolled out a one-year visa-free policy to ordinary passport holders from six countries – France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia – starting from December 1, 2023.

The move also aims to further facilitate cross-border people-to-people exchanges between China and foreign countries, and serve the country’s high-quality development and opening-up. (Source: Bloomberg)

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