Travel to China – A Smart Choice
For years now, most Westerners have avoided visiting China due to the fact that the Chinese government has restricted entry into their country for foreign nationals, especially those from certain countries. However, in recent years China has eased their stringent visa requirements for tourism. There is still a lot of work to be done before full access can be enjoyed, but it is opening up new and different opportunities for foreign nationals. Whether you are travelling alone or with your family, or whether you are travelling as a part of an Asian Trade Mission, or as part of a business trip, there are various ways in which you can enjoy full access to China for a price. We are going to look at the best and cheapest ways to get there.
Getting a Chinese work permit is the first and best way to travel to China for trade purposes. Without this permit, you cannot legally enter China, so getting a work permit is imperative for anyone wishing to travel to China on business. There are many different ways in which you can get a work permit, including an application through the Chinese embassy in London. The Chinese government does not issue work permits to British citizens, but if you have a valid passport that is in good condition and that you have paid the requisite fees and taxes then the Chinese authorities will recognise that you are legally in China and will allow you to leave the country.
For many years now the Chinese government has maintained strict entry policies for both tourists and Chinese nationals. Those who wish to travel to China for business purposes need to apply for a PRC work visa before they are permitted to enter China. The process is very simple, and can usually be done in one day. Some of the methods of procedure include: applying in person, sending a stamped envelope containing required documents to the consul in the airport, or via mail to the Chinese consulate.
When applying for a work permit through the Chinese embassy in London, there are a few things that you may want to take with you as you prepare your trip. You should bring a passport, a letter from your employer confirming your employment and the relevant passport issued by the Chinese authorities. You may also be required to show proof of funds, such as a bank account and a recent bank statement. In addition, a current photo I.D. card will also be necessary, and your passport must be current.
The main areas where tourists frequently enter China without obtaining work permits or by using incorrect methods of entry are: in Beijing, the main region using the Exit visa system; in Shanghai, using the Entrance visa system; in Hong Kong, using the local currency Hong Kong visa; and in Macau using the local currency. Many tourists find that these systems are confusing, and that they need to obtain additional guidance from their travel advisors or the Chinese embassy in London before leaving. The authorities in Beijing and Shanghai issue Exit visas, which are only valid for up to 14 days after your arrival date, and are often only available at pre- authorised border crossings. On the other hand, the authorities in Hong Kong and Macau issue both E visa and PO visa, which are valid for up to three months once your arrival date has come to an end.
Once you have obtained work permits or an exit visa, you will likely need to stay in China for at least one year, depending on your job title or position. Most travelers will need to obtain an immigrant visa in order to stay in China for more than one year. In most cases, you can arrange this easily with the Chinese embassy in London. The consulate will generally arrange everything for you, including the documentation, application forms and visa requirement interview.
Traveling to China for business purposes is considered relatively safe in spite of the recent economic downturn. However, there are still a number of risks for foreign travelers to take into consideration. In particular, theft is a widespread problem in China, especially of property and cash. Tourists should consider taking along some local currency to avoid problems.
There are several officially-mandated restrictions to traveling to China. These include not carrying undeclared or illicit goods and not travelling to Beijing or Hong Kong without proper exit visas. Visitors who break any of these rules face the risk of fines or imprisonment. There are also a number of ‘rules of conduct’ that tourists are expected to follow. Many Chinese locals will be quick to point out that they strictly adhere to these rules, and have been doing so for years.