Nils Kraus - Mar 11, 2024
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China has been encouraging travel from abroad by easing its entry procedures. About a year ago, the country introduced a temporary 15-day visa waiver policy for nationals of five European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Malaysia. Last week, China announced that it will extend the visa exemption to six more European countries in the near future, continuing to open and simplify travel formalities.

During a press conference held on the occasion of the 14th National People's Congress in Beijing last week, Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced that China would introduce a visa exemption on an experimental basis for nationals of Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Hungary, and Austria.

This new policy allows holders of ordinary passports from six specific countries to travel to China for business, tourism, family visits, or transit without the need for a visa. This policy will be effective on March 14, 2024, and allows travelers to stay in the country for 15 days. However, this visa exemption is temporary and will end on November 30, 2024, for the first six countries to benefit from this policy. Travelers must obtain a Chinese visa if they need to stay longer than 15 days or for other reasons.

China's foreign minister, Wang Yi announced that the country plans to increase its circle of visa-free countries and offer multi-year and multiple-entry visas to more nations. Wang Yi also expressed his hope that more countries would reciprocate China's efforts by facilitating visa processes for Chinese citizens and collaborating with China to establish efficient cross-border travel networks. He also urged for the resumption of international passenger flights.

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