Travel to China is a popular tourist destination for many people. However, despite repeated reiterations of the fact that travel to China remains permitted, the reality is somewhat different. Chinese authorities have tightened security in several regions of their country, especially in the past year. There have also been a series of incursions into disputed islands in the region, and there are fears that future tensions may lead to all travel to China coming to a complete halt. This article attempts to evaluate the current state of travel to China, and assesses what current and future travel to China will entail.
On March 26th, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing issued a travel advisory advising American travelers traveling to China to avoid all non-essential travel to China. According to the advisory, the Chinese government “frequently” detains foreign nationals in detention. The reason for this advisory is unclear, and the reasons for detentions vary. However, the Chinese government has released information on several occasions on the steps it takes if a traveler is detained.
Official travel to China can be difficult due to the presence of a wide range of restrictions and stipulations, some of which are currently enforced. For example, all tourists who leave China without proper notification of the Chinese government can face fines or penalties ranging up to $1400. The same regulations also apply to businessmen traveling to China on business purposes. These rules have been enforced both at the federal level and on a state-to-state basis.
Traveling between Chinese cities requires conducting substantial background research to determine the customs and practices of the Chinese community in various locations. This includes both Chinese people and foreigners who are resident in China. Because most travelers are Chinese nationals, they must also comply with local laws and customs. Some Chinese communities do not speak or understand English, and it can be difficult to navigate the local language when communicating with Chinese speakers or traders. For this reason, many foreign travelers find that hiring an expert tour agency will be advantageous.
As part of their vetting process for tourists, Chinese authorities may request documentation from the applicant’s passport regarding their intended destination. Travelers unfamiliar with Chinese customs may not be able to provide this information. For these reasons, it is necessary to consult a company that specializes in helping foreign nationals comply with the law. Not only will a travel agency be able to provide information on whether or not a person is eligible to obtain a Chinese tourist visa, but they will also be able to guide applicants through the visa application process. Consultations with such companies are usually conducted on a one-time-only fee, and are designed to assist potential travelers with any questions or concerns that they may have.
Foreigners who plan on traveling to China may also be required to obtain exit visas upon arrival. In some cases, these visas are simply given out at the airport, while others require applicants to present a separate visa application upon arrival. The amount of time that it takes to get an exit visa depends on the country in which the traveler is leaving. These independent travel tips provide information on obtaining exit visas quickly and efficiently.
Chinese nationals that plan to leave the country for vacation or work should not plan to leave their work permits behind. Although they may hold a temporary work permit while in the country, once they leave the country they will need a separate work permit. A Chinese worker who leaves his or her job without a work permit can face serious penalties. For example, some expatriates may be fired from their jobs and barred from traveling to another country for up to two years.
Although Chinese authorities may prohibit citizens from leaving the country for tourism or business reasons, there are a number of instances when leaving the country is allowed. For example, if a family member requires medical treatment in China, family members may be permitted to visit. In addition, if a foreigner is desperately injured or ill and cannot travel, authorities may allow emergency or humanitarian travel. As with all travel tips, it is best to research restrictions before leaving for China. It is also wise to be aware of travel restrictions that may impact your stay in China and how to circumvent them.