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China Visa-Free Policy Offered to 12 Countries Extended to End of 2025

Published: May. 07, 2024
China announced on May 6, 2024 during a high-level meeting between Chinese and French entrepreneurs that China visa-free policy granted to ordinary passport holders of 12 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg would be extended to end of 2025. It was originally planned that the policy would turn ineffective on December 1, 2024.
This favorable policy allows citizens of these countries enter China without a visa and stay for at most 15 days, for the purpose of traveling, visiting families and friends, handling business issues and transit. 
The policy was initially adopted among passport holders of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia since December 1, 2023 and later it was expanded to 6 more countries of Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg since March 14, 2024. 

The visa-free policy boosted the recovery of China inbound tourism. 

According to China National Immigration Administration, in the first quarter of 2024, the inbound visitors to China has increased by 3 times compared with that of the same period in 2023. Among them, 1,988,000 have taken advantage of the visa-free policy. 
Thanks to the visa-free policy, it is expected that by the middle of 2024, China inbound tourism will recover to the level of 2019 before covid-19 pandemic.  

FAQs on China Visa-free Policy

 1. What’s the requirements of the visa-free travel to China? 
a. Passport. The remaining validity period should cover your stay in China. 
b. Invitation letter, outbound flight/ train/ ship ticket, hotel bookings or other supportive documents telling your purpose of visiting China.  
 2. How to count the 15-day duration of stay?
Different from other China visa policies like 144-hour visa-free transit, whose 144-hour starts from 00:00 of the next arrival day, the 15-day of the visa-free policy starts right on the day of your arrival and you should leave China before 24:00 of the 15th natural day.
 3. What should I do if I need to stay longer than 15 days after entry? 
If you plan to stay longer than 15 days in China, just apply for a visa beforehand. After entering China, if you have to stay longer, go to local entry and exit administration office to apply for an approval. But it is not guaranteed you will get it for sure. If failed, you still need to leave China before it expires. 
 4. Will it be adopted among more countries? 
As of the time of written, there is no such news yet. But it is very possible because China has been more and more generous in visa policies since 2023. 
 For more visa-free travel possibilities to China, please refer to:

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