Effective January 2008 Travel to China and Chinese Visa Requirements

China and travel to China are extremely popular, especially for Chinese New Year. There will be massive celebrations throughout the country and visitors will have an abundance of opportunities to experience everything that Chinese people enjoy from food to culture to fashion. Chinese New Year falls on the beginning of the Chinese calendar and is widely celebrated across the country; a time for festivities, gifts and feasting. To make your Chinese New Year a memorable one, be sure to choose the best flights to Beijing, the capital city of China and book your tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Travel to China

The current Chinese government places great importance on the management of resources and the protection of China’s economic rights abroad. They therefore do not allow the citizens of many countries to travel to China for tourism purposes. However, despite the fact that there are visa restrictions for most Chinese traveling abroad, you will find that most of the popular flights to Beijing are fully booked out for the four-week period leading up to Chinese New Year. To avoid being left without a seat, it is important to book your ticket far in advance.

The Chinese authorities may impose several kinds of restrictions on tourists who travel to China. Some of these restrictions are intended to protect China and prevent it from becoming a risk to international security. For instance, China has been known to restrict travel to the Korean Peninsula as Chinese citizens there have been accused of trying to enter Korea through maritime borders. Similarly, Chinese authorities have restricted travel to South America after drug smugglers from China attempted to enter the continent via Argentina. China has also closed down the Kaifeng Xintang Radio Station, which broadcasts news and current events pertaining to China. You should keep in mind that if you are traveling to China for the first time, or to visit relatives who are currently living there, it is important to seek permission beforehand to enter the country.

Visitors to China are normally required to obtain a visa before they can leave for vacations. If you are planning a trip to China during january, it is imperative that you submit visa applications to the relevant authorities well in advance of your planned departure date. Many Chinese tourists fall foul of local authorities who do not permit foreign tourists to enter the country without applying for a visa. In addition to being inadvisable, this can lead to long delays that can easily be avoided by securing your visa in advance.

The Chinese government and local Chinese authorities have also implemented an effective february 1 entry ban, which prohibits all foreigners from entering the country for two weeks starting from the first day of the new year. This restriction was implemented as China wants to protect its citizens from possible foreign infiltration. However, many foreign governments as well as non-government citizens view this as an unreasonable restriction when the economy is in recovery and tourism is not in full swing. For those individuals travelling to China during february 1st, it is advisable to consult with a travel agent to find out more about the entry ban.

Many travelers have also seen bans implemented against foreigners who fail to comply with internal Chinese state security legislation. These authorities have been conducting random checks of people’s identity, especially when travelling abroad. Chinese state security has even resorted to using live animals in carrying out these identity checks. Individuals have also been detained for attempting to flee the country while authorities are carrying out such checks. If you plan to visit China in the coming months, it is in your best interests to ensure that you have adequate documentation in place so that authorities cannot detain you for reasons unrelated to your legal right to enter the country.

Another effective measure that Chinese authorities have implemented is the implementation of an interim visa, or work permit, for Chinese nationals currently undergoing scheduled interviews or training for work in China. For those Chinese nationals who will be travelling to other countries prior to completing their Chinese work permits, a six month tourist visa will be issued until the work permit is complete. The visa is effective only for the duration of your work permit application period.

The authorities have also tightened their travel restrictions for Hong Kong citizens travelling to China. The main restriction is that persons entering the country via Hong Kong by flight, by land or by sea are required to apply for localvisas from their home country before being permitted to enter China. Chinese nationals who wish to travel to Hong Kong by any of the three methods mentioned above are advised to apply for localvisas from their home country as soon as possible.