On August 10th, 2020, the People’s Republic of China announced that it would resume processing visa applications for citizens of 36 European countries. Individuals holding a passport issued by one of the listed countries, along with a current residence or work permit from China, will be able to apply for a visa to return to the country. Previously, foreign nationals living and working in China were only able to return if they were sponsored by their employer through a special exemption program after the Mainland authorities canceled all visas issued before March 28th, 2020 and banned all foreign travel.
Meanwhile, flights to China are slowly resuming as China eases its restrictions on flights from outside the region, while outbound transit flights from the Mainland through Hong Kong International Airport have temporarily resumed.
As of Mid-August, the 36 European countries whose citizens can apply for new PRC visas are as follows:
Albania, Ireland, Estonia, Austria, Bulgaria,North Macedonia, Belgium, Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Denmark, Germany, France, Finland, the Netherlands, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, United Kingdom.
Business Travel to Mainland China
All travelers to China should be aware of the health screening requirements prior to traveling. These include mandatory quarantine and health testing, as well as re-applying for a visa. Foreign nationals holding residence permits or APEC Business Travel cards will not be permitted to enter Mainland China unless they apply for and acquire a new visa.
Cathay Pacific Airways currently operates flights from Hong Kong to Shanghai and Beijing. The travel restrictions for business travelers from Hong Kong are uniform, regardless of the individual’s nationality. In addition to holding a valid Mainland China visa issued after March 28th, business travelers must provide a negative COVID-19 test result, issued within 7 days from the date of travel from an ISO accredited laboratory.
Business travelers must undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in China, either at home or at an approved facility or hotel. Short term business travelers will not be permitted to leave their hotel until they clear all health screening and quarantine requirements.
Travel to Mainland China begins to resume
Although many restrictive regulations still remain, these latest developments indicate that Mainland China is moving forward with a phased reopening of international travel, with further easing likely to follow.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding applying for a new Mainland China visa, or if you seek assistance planning for your China projects over the coming months, we are happy to assist. Feel free to contact us via email@example.com or +852 2541 6632 for a free consultation anytime.
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