In our spotlight on APAC series, we round up the latest developments across Asia Pacific. In this post, we explore China’s trial of a visa-free entry program for selected European countries, along with Malaysia.
China to offer visa-free entry for selected European countries and Malaysia from December 1, 2023, to November 30, 2024
In a strategic move to enhance economic and tourism prospects, China has officially announced, effective December 1, the initiation of visa-free entry privileges for citizens from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain—alongside Malaysia, for a duration of up to 15 days. This one-year trial programme underscores China’s commitment to promoting constructive exchanges between Chinese and foreign professionals while cultivating a more inclusive global relationship. This measure follows the recent relaxation of stringent pandemic protocols earlier this year, marking a pivotal moment for the resumption of international travel and presenting novel opportunities for global visitors. Despite the alleviation of China’s rigorous pandemic measures, including mandatory quarantines, the anticipated rebound of international travel to pre-pandemic levels remains an ongoing process.
China had previously extended visa-free entry privileges to citizens of Brunei, Japan, and Singapore before suspending these provisions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. While visa-free access was reinstated for Brunei and Singapore in July, a comparable easing has not been extended to Japanese travellers.
This announcement reinforces China’s dedication to facilitating international engagement and positions the nation as an increasingly attractive destination for business and leisure travellers alike.