China simplifies visa policy

people at Forbidden City in China during daytime

China's Foreign Ministry has announced the country's intention to actively improve its visa policy to create more favorable conditions for the development of cross-border tourist travel. The announcement comes a week after China's diplomatic missions in more than 10 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand, stopped accepting online visa applications in favor of direct visa processing. Under the new system, applicants can visit a Chinese diplomatic mission in person and apply for a visa. After entering the visa center, all applicants go through a security check, receive a waiting badge and wait for their turn. Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin confirmed that the new changes have already brought positive results, increasing the number of visas issued.

China has improved its visa system since the beginning of this year. The foreign ministry spokesman said the ministry is cooperating with other government services to ensure the smooth arrival of foreigners in China and maintain the pursuit of high-quality development and openness.

Following the decision to implement Class B infection control in the fight against Covid-19, the ministry has instructed embassies and consulates to increase opening hours, reduce the number of documents required for visa applications, expand staff, issue multiple-entry visas where possible, and temporarily exempt certain categories of applicants from the fingerprint registration procedure. This was done to simplify and expedite the visa application process.

Green corridors were created for groups with important and urgent business or humanitarian concerns. Most embassies and consulates in China now provide these services.

Learn more about visas to China