CHINA – Visa Interviews Ending as Reforms Continue

October 20, 2023

Updated on 20 October with more information.

The government of China is removing the requirement for in-person appointments when applying for a visa to visit the country. This policy change is being implemented at the embassy/consulate level, with offices in each country adjusting their requirements individually.

As of 20 October, consulates in the following countries have confirmed changes in the in-person appointment policy:

  • Australia: Appointments will still be required.
  • European Union and United Kingdom: Staggered removal of in-person requirements over the next four weeks, with most consulates no longer requiring appointments after 23 October.
  • Hong Kong: Appointments no longer required.
  • Singapore: Appointments no longer required.
  • United States: Requirements differ by office;
    • Washington DC: Appointments no longer required.
    • New York City: Appointments no longer required.
    • Los Angeles: Appointments are still required.
    • Chicago: Appointments are still required.
    • San Francisco: Appointments will be used into 2024.

This is a developing situation, and we will provide updates as they become available. Earlier this month, China eased the requirements covering reporting on previous travel and the applicant’s education level in visa applications. The changes all seem aimed at making the visa application process simpler, in an effort to boost foreign tourism to China. While domestic travel within China is now exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels, foreign travel to China is still lagging far behind pre-pandemic levels.


Newland Chase Insights

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This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.