China Cuts Visa Fees and Enters Into Visa-Free Agreements with Other Countries

China Tourism and travelsIn a bid to revive the country’s tourism industry, China reopened its borders in March 2023 and began allowing international travellers with valid travel documents to enter the country. In connection with the border opening, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has resumed issuing all types of visa and has given notice that effective Dec. 11, 2023 to Dec. 31, 2024, visa fees will be reduced by 25%.

Moreover, citizens of countries that allow visa-free entry will be eligible for short-stay entry upon arrival, for as long as they have valid travel documents.

China Signed Unilateral Visa-Free Agreements with Other Countries

Additionally, China has also inked mutual visa exemption agreements with more than 150 countries. However, most of the visa free arrangements apply only to travellers with diplomatic or official passports. Still, around mid 2024, China included Australia and New Zealand to the original list of countries that have unilateral visa free agreements.

Great wall of China tourist destinationOther subsequent reports indicated that since March 2024 and up to November 2024, holders of ordinary passports issued by six European countries, namely: Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland, are also eligible for visa-free short term (15 days) stay upon arrival in China. The visa free visit may be for business purposes, for travels to tourist destinations; or even just to visit family and/or friends.

Visa-Free Policy for Tourist Groups Entering China Ports via Cruise Ship

In May 2024, the National Immigration Administration of China announced that a newly approved visa-free will permit international tourist groups travelling by way of cruise ships to enter China and visit certain areas. However, only those who will remain with the same cruise ship that brought them to China’s ports, are eligible for visa-free entry within 15 days upon arrival.

Those who want to know more of China’s updated travel policies are encouraged to visit their local Chinese embassy or consulate.