Country eases visas for US citizens

By Yang Ran| China Daily| Updated:  January 2, 2024 L M S

China has eased visa applications for people visiting from the United States to boost people-to-people exchanges, according to a statement from the Chinese embassy in Washington.

As announced on its website on Friday, starting from Monday, the Chinese embassy and consulates-general in the US will simplify the application documents required for tourist visas (L-visa).

Tourist visa applicants within the US will no longer be required to submit a round-trip air ticket booking record, proof of hotel reservation, itinerary or invitation letter, the embassy's statement said.

However, since visa applications are processed on a case-by-case basis, tourists are also asked to refer to the Chinese embassy and consulates-general in the US for specifics.

This is the latest move by China to facilitate cross-border travel. Recent months have seen the Chinese government continuing to optimize visa and entry policies for foreigners to promote people-to-people exchanges.

In November, China announced a unilateral visa-free policy for ordinary passport holders from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia on a trial basis, according to a statement published on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's website on Nov 24.

From Dec 1, 2023, to Nov 30,2024, holders of ordinary passports from the six countries may enter China visa-free for business, tourism, visiting relatives and friends, and transit for no more than 15 days, the statement said.

The effect of such moves is immediate. According to China's National Immigration Administration, about 18,000 people from the six countries entered China from Dec 1 to 3, a daily increase of 39 percent compared to Nov 30.

Apart from the visa-free policy, other measures have been taken to facilitate foreigners' entry into the country.

China expanded its visa-free transit policy in November to include citizens from Norway for a 72/144-hour stay, bringing the total number of applicable countries to 54.

Citizens from the 54 countries are exempt from visa requirements during transit for 72 or 144 hours when heading for a third nation, said the National Immigration Administration, adding that this move aims to serve high-standard opening-up, facilitate the mobility of Chinese and foreign nationals, and promote international exchanges.

Xinhua contributed to this story.