Chinese Visa Information

The implementation of entry and exit ban has forced many tourists to leave China. Recently, the Ministry of State Security issued an order that travel agencies not cooperate with tourists who attempt to leave China without proper authorization. The Ministry is particularly concerned about foreign nationals who travel on invalid passports. To combat this problem, the ministry has issued a circular which can be utilized by travel agencies in China. The circular requires travel agencies not to allow a foreigner to enter or exit China with an invalid passport.

This circular was issued as a measure to uphold U.S. diplomatic interests in China. The U.S. Embassy in China demands that all Chinese citizens obtaining travel authorizations make certain they have the correct personal information. Failure to do so can result in arrest and prosecution. Many Chinese citizens have been detained for taking wrong turns at the Chinese border.

Many foreigners who travel to China do so legally. They may be carrying a valid travel document that displays their nationality or they may be carrying one Chinese national identity card. A dual national will find that if they are traveling to China and are attempting to enter or leave the country without proper authorization from either the Chinese authorities or the nearest Chinese consulate, they may be arrested. Tourists who are dual nationals in China are especially advised to use their correct identification.

Travelers who are travelling to China must be aware of travel related restrictions which often require travelers to obtain visa approval prior to travelling. Chinese authorities strictly restrict the movement of foreign nationals in and out of the country. Travelers who fail to comply with these travel restrictions face the risk of fines or even deportation. Those who are travelling from non-English speaking countries will find that there are particular rules regarding the language requirement and the requirement to have a Chinese translation of any documents.

Chinese authorities require all foreigners wishing to enter the country to register with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs no later than January 1st. The ministry publishes a schedule of popular Chinese national holidays on its website. The website also includes information for those travelers travelling from abroad who are unable to visit China by January 1st. Many Chinese citizens make travelling to China a priority during the Chinese New Year holidays. This is the main event in China, celebrated with great pomp and show, along with colorful parades and street celebrations. All travelers are required to have a Chinese translation of any important documents.

Traveling to China during the Chinese New Year is highly prohibited. Citizens who violate Chinese immigration law face the risk of heavy fines or even imprisonment. The restrictions that are imposed on tourists include those issued with Chinese visas. Foreign nationals are required to obtain special permits from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs prior to travelling. These permits are not free but cost a nominal amount. Visitors can also be subjected to customs inspections and border inspection at the airports upon arrival in China.

Those who do not comply with Chinese law can face the deprivation of their foreign nationality status and the denial of entry into the country. Some citizens travelling to China may also be detained without trial for criminal charges. There are no specific laws relating to the detention of foreigners in China, unless stated explicitly in law or specified in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website. Travelers who are accused of crimes are normally detained without any evidence or due to fear of prosecution. If charges are pressed against them, they may be removed from their flight and expelled from the country.

The re-issue of Chinese visas is usually effective january first, for visitors who do not obtain an exit visa prior to leaving. Visitors who overstay their visa period face the risk of deportation. The only way to avoid removal is to apply for an exit visa upon arrival in China. Otherwise, Chinese nationals who overstay their visas are returned to their originating point, either by the local Chinese police or through the re-issue of Chinese visas. Visitors who fall under the categories of businessmen or state officials and those who entered China by travelling outside of China are exempted from the application process for obtaining exit or entrance visas.