China extends visa-free policy to six more countries

China extends visa-free policy to six more countries

China has decided to implement a unilateral visa-free policy for ordinary passport holders from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia on a trial basis. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry's social media account, from March 14 to November 30, 2024, citizens from these six countries can enter China without a visa for up to 15 days for various purposes including tourism, business, family visits and transit purposes. Those who do not meet the visa exemption requirements must still obtain a visa. This policy aims to promote people-to-people exchanges and support high-quality development and high-level opening-up initiatives. The country is taking steps to facilitate foreign travel and improve visa policies to ensure smooth entry for visitors.

Objectives of China unilateral visa-free policy

The unilateral visa-free entry policy aligns with China's objectives of promoting international cooperation, facilitating travel and business exchanges, and supporting its broader goals of high-quality development and opening-up. Here is a breakdown:

Facilitating Cross-Border Travel: The policy aims to simplify the entry process for citizens of these countries, promoting ease of travel between China and the designated nations.

Promoting Tourism and Business Activities: By allowing visa-free entry for purposes such as tourism, business, family visits, and transit, China seeks to encourage greater interaction and engagement between these countries and Chinese businesses and tourist destinations.

Supporting High-Quality Development and Opening-Up: China intends to demonstrate its commitment to high-quality development and opening-up by implementing policies that enhance international exchanges and cooperation.

Improving Visa Policies: This initiative is part of China's broader efforts to improve its visa policies, demonstrating responsiveness to changing global circumstances and enhancing the country's attractiveness as a destination for international travellers and businesses.

Adapting to Post-Pandemic Travel: China's decision to expand visa-free entry reflects its adaptation to post-pandemic travel trends, aiming to streamline entry procedures while ensuring safety measures are in place.

The New Visa Policy Sparks Tourism Rebound

The New Visa Policy Sparks Tourism Rebound

China's updated visa policy is expected to boost inbound tourism, with reporting a surge in visitors and increased interest in travel between China and Malaysia and Germany. Long-haul travel to China is also rebounding, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.'s new "China Travel Guide" has seen increased page visits since its launch, reflecting growing interest in travel to China. Group CEO Jane Sun highlighted the potential for growth in China's inbound tourism market. In a strategic move, Group signed a framework agreement with the China International Culture Association to promote inbound travel through the "Nihao! China" program. 

Despite strict border controls during the pandemic, China has begun issuing visas to overseas travellers again, but inbound tourism recovery remains slower compared to domestic and outbound tourism. China has made its visa rules better again. Earlier this month, it let people from 54 countries, including Norway, stay without a visa during transit. Before people from Brunei, Japan, and Singapore could enter China without a visa, but this stopped because of COVID-19. In July, China started letting people from Brunei and Singapore enter without a visa again.

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