Travel to China can be an adventure for anyone. In recent years the People’s Republic of China has opened up more to the west, but it is still a Chinese-dominated country. Before planning your trip there are some issues you should know. Traveling to China is not as easy as many assume, there are a few precautions you will need to take. We will look at these before getting to travel to China
The PRC government announced some new travel related restrictions on several of its cities. Starting in April Foreign nationals will need to apply for visas for visits to Hong Kong or Macau. On 31 December all foreign nationals will require a visa for travel to Shanghai. Starting in April, foreign nationals will also have to apply for visas for any visit to Hong Kong or Macau. Travel to China from these cities will now require a visa.
There are a number of other changes, we’ll look at those next. You can no longer buy or sell currency at the commercial banks in China or at the offices of the Chinese consulate in America. There are a number of exceptions, for instance there are many stores in Hong Kong that accept credit cards. The embassy and consulate may issue documents for some of the previously mentioned items.
Traveling to China may require you to update your passport. The revised exit and entry ban implemented in January 2021 makes it harder to leave the country if you overstay a few months. The ban states that all citizens of China are banned from entering or exiting China for a period of up to three years. Only citizens of certain counties are banned from leaving and entering China via certain routes. This is effective January 1st.
It’s possible that you may need to provide proof of citizenship or legal status when traveling to China. For example, you may need to present a valid passport in order to enter the country. Your travel insurance policy should cover any legal requirements you may have when visiting China. Contact your insurance provider to find out what options are available to you. If you have an existing travel insurance agreement in force for another country, talk to the representative of your provider to find out whether you will be covered when travelling to China under the same plan.
The revised entry and exit law for China do not mention the names of any country at all, but the US and Canada are named in the law. The text of the law can be found on the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website. The website does not carry the entire voluminous detail, but it provides a good outline of what the law covers. It is important, however, to read the entire article on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ site before traveling to China to ensure that you have the most comprehensive and current travel advice and information available.
The new legislation requires visa applicants to be screened for nationality or citizenship before receiving a visa. According to the law, any applicant who is a national of one of the restricted countries, or who carries on business or performs work for a national of one of the restricted countries, cannot legally enter the country for two years. In addition to this, any traveler who is a national of one of the restricted countries but who carries on business or performs work for a person or a company of one of the non-ramped penalties is required to pay a return visit fee equal to ten percent of the cost of the entire trip. For many people, this will prove a prohibitive cost increase when compared to other countries’ visa regulations.
A final, albeit minor, piece of legislation which may be addressed regarding travel to China involves the requirement of a work permit when working in China. The requirement covers both employees of foreign companies who are taking up permanent residence in the country and workers who are either employed by a foreign company or are taking up work permit as a guest worker. While the latter situation is normally temporary, both types of workers require a work permit to enable them to work in the mainland. If one does not have a work permit, it is necessary to obtain one at the earliest opportunity, as this will facilitate your ability to travel to China. While the practice of requiring a visa has been eased somewhat, it is still possible to be prohibited from traveling to China for 90 days if you do not have a work permit.