The Chinese government has announced that all citizens travelling to and from China will need to have a suitable exit and entry Banqueting Card. The new Decree on Foreign Affairs has put a temporary halt on the implementation of the UK Immigration Visa scheme. This has been effective January 1st, according to the ministry of foreign affairs. The ministry stated that this ban has been put in place as China’s ministry of tourism has instructed all restaurants in China to implement a nationwide stamp of approval for travel outside the country.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also announced that all Chinese citizens travelling to or from UK must have an exit and entry visa. The Foreign Office has appealed to the Chinese authorities to allow greater flexibility in issuing visas. The two measures are said to be in compliance with the United Nations International Convention on the Causes of Natural Disaster and the European Convention on the Prevention of Casualty Damage to Citizens. These conventions aim to protect tourists and residents from the risk of death or injury during emergencies abroad.
There was no confirmation on the outbreak of the flu, and therefore there is no chance of travellers travelling from China to UK being quarantined. There is therefore no reason to prevent Chinese citizens from travelling to the UK under any guise. The only restriction is that they must have a visa to enter China. The new Chinese immigration law clearly states that no foreigner can enter China without a visa. So the onus is upon the traveller to ensure that they have obtained a visa before travelling to China. It is likely therefore that this appeal will not be entertained by the Chinese authorities.
It is unlikely that the Chinese authorities will grant any form of visa on political grounds. Chinese citizens who wish to travel abroad will have to obtain a visa from the Chinese embassy. The current diplomatic tension between the US and China over their nuclear weapons programme and human rights abuses is likely to lead to further problems for those travelers originating from China travelling on business or pleasure trips.
On the other hand, it is likely that the ban on Chinese citizens travelling abroad will be lifted immediately due to the Chinese government’s desire to improve relations with the western world. There are many Chinese businessmen who are based in the west. For them, if they want to expand their business to the east, or vice versa, they will have to obtain a visa. It is expected that in the coming years, the ban on Chinese citizens will be lifted completely. In the past fourteen days, it is likely that the ban will be enforced on all travel to China.
If it is not possible for you to have a visa on arriving in China, you will need to arrange for a transit pass or an exit visa. This is particularly important for those transiting via Hong Kong, Taiwan or any other country that has open access to China. A person who has applied for visa but who did not have a passport must stay in China until he/she receives one.
Individuals travelling to China by land, by sea or by air should have the necessary documents to facilitate customs clearance. You may not have the proper documentation, and in such cases, the customs officials may refuse to accept your application for entry ban and leave you stranded. On the other hand, if you are travelling to China by a land route, you will most certainly need to have your passport and most probably, you will need to stay in China, unless you have obtained an exit visa.
In spite of the recent implementation of a strictly labour-intensive inspection system to prevent illicit workers from travelling into China, there was still a significant amount of trafficking in the past year. It is believed that the majority of the cases were either the result of human-smuggling or the failure of the employers to carry out adequate pre-entry controls. A general loosening of the labour law last January, coupled with more stringent measures implemented by the Hualong quarantine facility and the ministry of labor, increased the risk for illegal workers in the first few months of this year. To increase inspectors’ powers and reduce the instances of fraud, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released revisions to the foreign worker Employment Rights Act on 1 July that included a provision that allows self-quarantine for certain Chinese national occupational hazards.