- Since China announced its decision to optimize it policies on COVID control and cross-border travel in December 2022 (for the details please refer to KPMG Alert), the China National Immigration Administration (NIA) has recently announced detailed rules for implementation, while some of the overseas Chinese Embassies / consulates have also announced changes on the Chinese visa applications in the last few weeks which could impact cross-border travel in the coming period.
Recent details introduced by the National Immigration Administration (NIA), which could impact on cross-border travel are as follows
Outbound travel for Chinese Nationals and travelers visiting Hong Kong and Macau:
- Application for Chinese passports will resume for purposes of outbound travelling
- Issuance of PRC entry and exit passes will resume (including Hong Kong entry and exit permit, Macau entry and exist permit), and resume the issuance of exit and entry passes for border areas
- For travelers entering PRC from Hong Kong, nucleic acid test taken within 48 hours prior to flight departure is required. Travelers need to declare negative testing result to China Customs by completing the Health Declaration Form.
- For travelers entering PRC from Macau, nucleic acid test is no longer required if the traveler has not travelled to any other foreign countries or regions outside of Macau 7 days before entering mainland China.
- Application for foreigner’s visa application, extension, renewal for taking up employment in China has resumed.
- Port visa and 24 / 72 / 144 hour transit visa have also resumed (with the exception for South Korea and Japan nationals)
Overseas Chinese Embassy / consulates in some countries / locations announced the latest requirements for the application of Chinese visa:
- Multi-year multiple-entry visas issued before March 26, 2020 are still suspended for usage.
- Visa applications for entering China for tourism and medical treatment purpose are still suspended for the time being.
- The Chinese Embassies in South Korea and Japan have suspended issuing short-term visas for South Korean citizens and all visas for Japanese citizens respectively.
We have observed that policies on Chinese visa applications and entry requirements have been subject to frequent updates in the last month. Furthermore, the Immigration Inspection Frontier at Shanghai Pudong International Airport has confirmed that multi-year multiple-entry visas issued before March 26, 2020 are still suspended and not valid for entering China.
Meanwhile, South Korean and Japanese nationals are still eligible to enter China, if they hold the following types of visa/permit within its validity period:
- Chinese visa issued after 28 March 2020
- Chinese residence permit (for work, attending to personal affairs, family reunion and study purposes)
- Chinese Green Card
South Korean nationals who wish to lodge an application for short-term visas (e.g. business (M) visa, trade/study exchanges (F) visa and personal matter (S) visa) at the Chinese Embassy in South Korea are required to submit an invitation letter issued by the relevant government authorities and bodies.
In view of these updates, we remind individuals who wish to travel in the upcoming holiday season take the following into considerations when planning for their journey:
- Foreign nationals who hold multi-year multiple-entry visas issued before March 26, 2020, should apply for a new visa based for the purposes of entering China.
- South Korean and Japanese nationals who plan to travel to China on short-term visas in the coming month should monitor the status of Chinese visa applications and plan their travel accordingly.
- International travelers who plan to enter China for commercial activities in the coming month are also advised to check on the operating hours overseas Chinese Embassy / consulates during the Chinese New Year Holiday, and if any new requirements have been introduced on Chinese visa applications.
KPMG China will continue to closely monitor the regulatory updates and welcome companies and individuals to contact us, should you encounter any difficulties.