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CHINA – Current Entry Conditions
February 24, 2023
China has been in the process of reopening to foreign visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. China lifted its quarantine-upon-arrival requirement and has begun issuing certain types of visas to foreign visitors. As interest in traveling to China is growing, here is the current state of Chinese government policies towards foreign visitors.
First, it is important to note at this time China is still not issuing tourism visas. There is expectation that China is looking to restart its tourism sector, but currently tourist visas are still not being issued. China is presently only issuing the following types of visas:
- Business Travel (M visa)
- Work Permits (Z visa)
- Family Visit/Family Reunion visas
- A limited number of student visas
Further, all visas issued prior to March 2020 are currently suspended. This includes existing 5- and 10-year visas, even those that are still valid and have not reached their expiration date. Anyone holding one of these visas, who wishes to travel to China, will need to apply for a new visa in one of the classes noted above.
Travelers entering China need to present a negative PCR (nucleic acid) test, though there are reports this requirement may be relaxed by the Chinese government on a country-by-country basis. Currently, 22 governments (including Australia, Canada, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States) currently require individuals coming from China to provide a negative PCR test to enter their countries.
After earlier bans on citizens of Japan and South Korea, Chinese consulates in these countries have resumed issuing entry visas.
Because of both pent-up demand for travel to China and staffing shortages at consulates, visa issuance and processing times are subject to delays. CIBT recommends anyone planning on traveling to China budget ample time to complete the visa application process before your expected travel date.