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China resumes normal visa services

Can you get a tourist visa for China now? Do you still need a PCR test to enter China? Read on for the answers

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As of 15 March 2023, the Chinese government resumed its pre-Covid visa and entry policies for foreigners to China, reinstating tourist visas and other visas issued prior to the pandemic. Here’s the CBBC summary

The changes were announced during a press conference with China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, who noted that they will further facilitate people-to-people exchanges between China and foreign countries. The change follows the resumption of the issuance of work and business visa services for foreign nationals in January 2023. Find out how CBBC can help with business visas here.

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An update shared by China Consular Affairs included the following information about visa issuance:

  • Valid multi-year, multi-entry visas issued before 28 March 2020 by the Chinese visa authorities abroad resume their function.
  • Visa authorities stationed abroad will resume examining and issuing all types of visas for foreigners.
  • Port visa authorities shall resume the issuing of all types of port visas in line with the relevant laws and regulations.
  • The visa-exemption policy for Hainan, visa-exemption cruise policy for Shanghai, visa-exemption policy for foreigners to visit Guangdong from Hong Kong and Macao, and visa-exemption policy for ASEAN tour groups to Guilin and Guangxi will all come back into operation.
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Commenting on the news, Tom Simpson, Managing Director, China at the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) said:

“Resuming applications for all types of visas removes another significant barrier in the resumption of normal travel between the UK and China.

CBBC has already seen business travel applications and arrivals begin to increase since January, however this news should lead to a significant increase in visits in particular for tourism.

Some barriers still remain, with PCR tests still required for travel to China from the UK. Also, the resumption of flights won’t be instant but gradual over the course of 2023 and into next year.”

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