mainland china visa

Mainland China: 15-Day Visa-Free Travel Program Expanded

May 10, 2024 | xpath.global

China has expanded its 15-day visa-free travel policy, allowing citizens from several European countries and Malaysia to explore the mainland without a visa for up to 15 days. This opens doors for business, tourism, visiting relatives, and transit through visa-free travel or an e-visa.

The eligible countries now include France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg during specified periods in 2023 and 2024. This expansion aims to facilitate entry procedures and promote exchanges between China and other nations through the diversity visa program.

Countries with Mutual Visa Exemption Agreements

China has mutual visa exemption agreements with several countries that allow ordinary passport holders to travel visa-free for up to 30 days. These countries include:

  1. Armenia
  2. The Bahamas
  3. Barbados
  4. Belarus
  5. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  6. Brunei
  7. Croatia
  8. Cyprus
  9. Dominica
  10. Ecuador
  11. Grenada
  12. Jamaica
  13. Mauritius
  14. Montenegro
  15. Morocco
  16. Namibia
  17. Peru
  18. Qatar
  19. Russia
  20. Serbia
  21. Seychelles
  22. Singapore
  23. Trinidad and Tobago
  24. United Arab Emirates
  25. Vanuatu

 

Travelers from these countries can enjoy visa-free entry into mainland China for tourism, business, or transit purposes for up to 30 consecutive days. This mutual visa exemption facilitates travel and promotes exchanges between China and these nations.

Countries with 30-day Visa-Free Travel

Visa-Free Entry to Hainan Island

Foreign nationals from 59 countries are eligible for 30-day visa-free entry to China’s Hainan Island, a popular tourist destination. These countries include:

  1. Albania
  2. Argentina
  3. Australia
  4. Austria
  5. Belarus
  6. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  7. Brazil
  8. Brunei
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Canada
  11. Chile
  12. Croatia
  13. Cyprus
  14. Czech Republic
  15. Denmark
  16. Estonia
  17. Finland
  18. France
  19. Germany
  20. Greece
  21. Hungary
  22. Iceland
  23. Ireland
  24. Italy
  25. Japan
  26. Kazakhstan
  27. Latvia
  28. Lithuania
  29. Luxembourg
  30. Malaysia
  31. Malta
  32. Mexico
  33. Monaco
  34. Montenegro
  35. Netherlands
  36. New Zealand
  37. North Macedonia
  38. Norway
  39. Philippines
  40. Poland
  41. Portugal
  42. Romania
  43. Russia
  44. Serbia
  45. Singapore
  46. Slovakia
  47. Slovenia
  48. South Korea
  49. Spain
  50. Sweden
  51. Switzerland
  52. Thailand
  53. Turkey
  54. Ukraine
  55. United Arab Emirates
  56. United Kingdom
  57. United States
  58. Uruguay
  59. Vatican City

 

This visa-free policy allows foreign visitors to explore the tropical island province of Hainan for up to 30 consecutive days without the need for a visa, facilitating tourism and cultural exchanges.

Visa-Free Transit in Major Cities

Foreign citizens from 54 countries are eligible for 72/144-hour visa-free transit in major Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. These countries include:

  1. Albania
  2. Argentina
  3. Australia
  4. Austria
  5. Belarus
  6. Belgium
  7. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  8. Brazil
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Canada
  11. Chile
  12. Croatia
  13. Cyprus
  14. Czech Republic
  15. Denmark
  16. Estonia
  17. Finland
  18. France
  19. Germany
  20. Greece
  21. Hungary
  22. Iceland
  23. Ireland
  24. Italy
  25. Japan
  26. Latvia
  27. Lithuania
  28. Luxembourg
  29. Malta
  30. Mexico
  31. Monaco
  32. Montenegro
  33. Netherlands
  34. New Zealand
  35. North Macedonia
  36. Norway
  37. Poland
  38. Portugal
  39. Romania
  40. Russia
  41. Serbia
  42. Singapore
  43. Slovakia
  44. Slovenia
  45. South Korea
  46. Spain
  47. Sweden
  48. Switzerland
  49. Turkey
  50. United Arab Emirates
  51. United Kingdom
  52. United States
  53. Uruguay
  54. Vatican City

 

This visa-free transit policy allows foreign nationals to stay in these cities for up to 72 or 144 hours without a visa, facilitating international travel and transit.

Other Visa-Free Policies
  1. Holders of valid APEC Business Travel Cards from the 10 ASEAN member states can enter and exit China without a visa via Guilin Liangjiang International Airport, with a maximum stay of 144 hours.
  2. China and Singapore have agreed to implement a 30-day visa-free entry policy for their citizens, starting from February 9, 2024. Previously, citizens of Brunei and Singapore were eligible for 15-day visa-free travel to China, but this policy was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic and later resumed with Singapore’s policy upgraded to 30 days.
  3. Holders of ordinary passports from certain countries like the Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Dominica, and others can enter mainland China without a visa for 30 days.
  4. Holders of passports for public affairs from certain countries can enter China without a visa, and holders of diplomatic, official, service, or special passports from certain countries can enter China without a visa for up to 30 days.
  5. Citizens of 5 countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Russia) can visit China for up to 30 days (15 days for Russia) without a visa if traveling in a tour group.

These visa-free policies facilitate travel, business, and cultural exchanges between China and various nations, promoting international cooperation and understanding.

Countries with 15-day Visa-Free Travel

China has expanded its 15-day visa-free travel policy to several countries, allowing their citizens to explore mainland China without a visa for up to 15 days. This expansion aims to facilitate entry procedures and promote exchanges between China and other nations.

European Countries with 15-day Visa-Free Travel
  1. France
  2. Germany
  3. Italy
  4. Netherlands
  5. Spain
  6. Switzerland
  7. Ireland
  8. Hungary
  9. Austria
  10. Belgium
  11. Luxembourg

 

The 15-day visa-free travel policy for these European countries is effective from March 14 to November 30, 2024, and has been further extended until December 31, 2025.

Other Countries with 15-day Visa-Free Travel
  1. Malaysia
  2. Brunei
  3. Singapore

 

Previously, China had a 15-day visa-free travel policy for citizens of Japan, Brunei, and Singapore, which was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic but has since been resumed for Brunei and Singapore.

This 15-day visa-free travel policy allows ordinary passport holders from the eligible countries to enter China for purposes of business, tourism, visiting relatives/friends, and transit, without needing to apply for a visa in advance.

China’s visa-free policies have led to a significant increase in foreign tourists, especially during the Spring Festival holiday in 2023. To address the decline in international tourism during the pandemic, the Chinese government has implemented these 15-day visa-free travel policies for visitors from several countries. China has also taken measures to boost inbound tourism, such as shortening visa application forms, lowering visa fees, and streamlining approval procedures.

Conclusion

China’s expansion of visa-free travel policies for citizens of various countries represents a significant step towards promoting international cooperation, cultural exchange, and tourism. By allowing visa-free entry for up to 15 or 30 days, China has opened its doors to visitors from Europe, Asia, and other regions, fostering stronger ties and facilitating seamless travel experiences.

This move not only benefits individual travelers but also holds the potential to boost economic growth and foster mutual understanding between nations. As the world continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, such initiatives by China showcase its commitment to reviving international tourism and strengthening global connections. While challenges may arise, the visa-free travel policies pave the way for enhanced people-to-people exchanges, leading to a more interconnected and harmonious global community.

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