Travel to China – Convenient, Fast, and Easy

Effective January 1st, the Chinese government notified all citizens of its decision to implement an exit and entry ban for travelers from Hong Kong, Macau and other regions that have enjoyed a high number of Chinese tourists in recent years. The new policy will cut down the number of visitors from these areas to a trickle. However, this measure is not expected to have a significant impact on China’s economy or social security spending. This move was prompted by Beijing’s dissatisfaction with the numbers of Chinese tourists who chose to visit China and other Asian countries outside China. In response, China’s tourism bureau has issued a number of travel advisories against visiting the cities named in the new travel advisory orders. In some cases, the warnings have been coupled with demands for passengers to pay the price for the privilege of traveling to these destinations.

Chinese officials have accused U.S. citizens of indirectly supporting the spread of “unfriendly” elements overseas. This allegation goes against the long-standing U.S. policy of not taking sides in internal affairs of other nations. For example, Washington has declined to take a position on the recent anti-U.S. protests in China, which resulted in the arrest of peaceful protesters. On the other hand, the State Department quickly condemned the detention of dozens of bloggers critical of Chinese policies. The U.S. Embassy has not yet commented on the detention of Chinese citizens who tried to flee abroad in anticipation of receiving government approval to reside in China.

To be effective, these new restrictions on traveling to China must be accompanied by more general travel restrictions. Although the Chinese government has not yet implemented any major tightening of the visa requirements, the likelihood of becoming required to obtain one of the Chinese passports is increasing. Many Chinese nationals are reluctant to travel outside their home country due to previous experiences with foreigners and low levels of personal relations. The loss of face in China is real concern for Chinese expats considering the potential loss of their social network. A gradual tightening of foreign nationals’ visa requirements could force many Chinese to choose to leave the country permanently.

The new Chinese law on travel abroad and nationality would affect both Chinese citizens and non-Chinese citizens traveling to China. The difficulty for non-Chinese citizens traveling to China is the likelihood of detention. A person does not need to have a Chinese passport to overstay in China beyond the 180 day maximum permitted each year. Instead, if the foreigner can provide evidence that they intend to commit crimes in China or is likely to engage in activities that would constitute criminal behavior in China, they may be arrested and held in detention without access to their own family or legal representation. A person that was arrested and released by local authorities in China and then uses funds from friends or relatives to continue to reside in China despite no longer having a valid visa could face further arrest and detention.

For citizens of the United States, a simple solution exists through the Annual Expiration of Certain Offenses or the EOceania Extension. However, United States citizens who wish to travel to China do not have easy access to flights or other forms of transportation to get them there. Even those who do have access to airfare and other forms of transportation have difficulty obtaining a Chinese visa. Chinese visas are difficult to obtain for tourists originating in certain countries such as India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Many foreigners wishing to travel to China have difficulty getting Chinese tourists to board local flights to their cities. One reason is the difficulty of obtaining a Chinese tourist visa for most foreign nationals wishing to travel to China. Visitors with a history of criminal activities in their home countries are especially difficult to track down. This is especially true of people with ties to radical groups or those that have made donations to banned organizations. Visitors that have obtained a one-year visa but cannot enter China due to lack of access can renew the visa online, avoid border crossings, or utilize other means of entering the country.

There are some additional Chinese restrictions for all foreign nationals wishing to travel to China. Some Chinese cities have been found to ban foreigners from specific ethnic backgrounds or to limit the number of foreign visitors that the city allows. In addition, there are some areas of the country that are off limits to tourists due to widespread violence. The same is true for students who wish to visit China or those that wish to take part in cultural activities while in the country. Finally, there are some Chinese restrictions on entering the country for residents of the United States and Canada. The same holds true for citizens of other Western countries that have made investments in China.

Traveling to China does not have to be complicated. With a little research and by following some simple guidelines, anyone can easily see local laws and customs. By visiting the Chinese embassy or consulate abroad, a person can better understand the Chinese requirements for entering and exiting the country as well as how they should handle their luggage and other belongings. Additionally, a dual national can use their Chinese passport to enter and exit the country as long as the two passports clearly show that the person is a foreigner with an intent to become a citizen of that country.