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Spotlight on APAC Series: China

In our Spotlight on APAC series we round up the latest developments from across the region.  In this post we look at the extension of China’s unilateral visa free policy.

China: Unilateral visa-free policy extended to six more countries

The Chinese government has announced the extension of its unilateral visa-free policy to Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland.  The extension of the policy is effective from 14th March 2024 and will continue through to 30 November 2024.  Under the extension holders of ordinary passports for the countries mentioned here will be permitted to enter China for up to days for business, tourism, family visits or transit without requiring a prior visa.

The policy is an extension of the unilateral visa waiver scheme that was introduced in November 2023 by the Chinese Government allowing nationals of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia to enter visa free.

China also signed a mutual visa waiver agreement with Thailand that became effective from 1 March 2024.

The policies seem to follow a general trend of China easing immigration restrictions to increase tourism and business following the strict border closures during the pandemic.

If you would like more information on travel to China please contact Antonia Grant at [email protected] or Rachel Ang at [email protected]

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