In what feels like the much-anticipated end of a long era of pandemic-related travel restrictions, Mainland China will be reopening to the world once and for all.
Effective March 14, 2023, China will resume accepting applications for and issuing all types of visas, and any visas issued prior to March 28, 2020 that haven’t expired will be considered valid.
Since China ended quarantine for international arrivals in January 2023, this signals a full reopening to international tourists, which is welcome news for anyone who has been patiently waiting to enter China for the past three years.
China Resumes Visa Applications and Issuance
As of 12pm Eastern Daylight Time on March 14, 2023, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada will resume accepting visa applications for all categories, including tourism. Additionally, any visas issued prior to March 28, 2020 that haven’t expired will be considered valid, marking an end to their almost three-year suspension.
The announcement also notes that visa-free entry will resume for Hainan and Shanghai Port, and foreign tour groups entering Mainland China via Guangdong from Hong Kong or Macao will also enjoy visa-free access.
Up until this point, China has been gradually loosening its pandemic restrictions, with the most recent development being an end to quarantine upon arrival for some inbound passengers in January 2023. However, the end of quarantine didn’t mean a reopening to the world, since tourist visas still weren’t being issued, until now.
For the past three months, only travellers headed to China for the purposes of work, business, study, or visiting family could benefit from the relaxed travel restrictions. While this was certainly one step closer to welcoming the world again, it still left out large swaths of would-be travellers, who will now be able to enter the country for purposes of tourism with a valid visa.
It appears that testing requirements remain for the time being, with only a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure required, and no testing upon arrival. There haven’t been any announcements about this changing, but be sure to check official sources for the most up-to-date information about testing requirements.
China Opening Once Again to International Tourism
Over the past few months, China has been gradually been undoing many of the long-held internal and external…
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