FAQs: China's visa exemption policy for six countries


China began welcoming visa-free entry for visitors from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia on Dec 1, 2023. Here are answers to 10 common questions about the policy:

Q1: Do eligible foreigners need to apply in advance through Chinese embassies or consulates abroad?

A1: No.

Q2: Will China's border control verify the purpose of entry? What additional documents are required besides a passport upon entry?

A2: Foreigners entering for purposes defined in the visa exemption policy — business, tourism, family visits, or transit — are permitted entry after inspection by Chinese border control.

Those with reasons not aligning with the policy or other circumstances in which entry is not allowed in accordance with laws or administrative regulations will face denial.

It is recommended to carry supporting documents like invitation letters, flight tickets, and hotel reservations matching the stated purpose.

Those entering for work, study, reporting, etc., are not covered by the exemption.

Q3: Are there special requirements for minors applying for visa exemption?

A3: Minors and adults have the same conditions for visa exemption.

Q4: Are there requirements for the type and validity of entry documents?

A4: Foreigners must hold valid ordinary passports with a validity period meeting their travel needs in China. Travel documents other than ordinary passports, such as travel certificates or temporary/emergency documents, are not eligible for visa exemption.

Q5: How is the 15-day stay period calculated?

A5: Foreigners meeting conditions for exemption can stay continuously in China until 12:00 pm (midnight) local time of the 15th day after the entry .

Q6: Can eligible foreigners depart from a country other than their nationality?

A6: Yes, eligible foreigners can depart from any country (region) outside China.

Q7: Does the visa exemption apply to non-aviation entry?

A7: Yes, it applies to all open sea, land, and air ports (except where laws, regulations, or bilateral arrangements state otherwise). For those using private transportation to enter China, please follow relevant procedures for vehicle entry and exit in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations.

Q8: Can tourist groups benefit from visa exemption?

A8: Yes, the visa exemption applies to both group and individual tourists as long as they're eligible.

Q9: Is it possible to extend the stay beyond 15 days?

A9: If a foreigner intends to stay in China for more than 15 days, they should apply for a visa corresponding to their purpose at a Chinese embassy or consulate abroad. If, after entering visa-free, there is a legitimate and justifiable reason to extend the stay, an application for a stay or residence permit should be submitted to the Exit-Entry Administration under local public security bureaus.

Q10: Is multiple-entry possible and are there restrictions on entry intervals, visa-free frequency, or total stay days?

A10: Foreigners meeting the conditions for visa exemption can enter China multiple times. Currently, there are no restrictions on frequency or total stay days, but activities inconsistent with the stated purpose of entry are prohibited.


Source: fr.china-embassy.gov.cn

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