By Mardiana Lutfi
China has fully reopened its borders, promising recovery of international tourism and travel.
However, getting a visa for China is expensive and time-consuming because biometric data has to be collected at the visa centre. This means that you have to apply in person (at least the first time) in order to be given a visa to visit China.
But now, not anymore!
In an effort to stimulate post-pandemic tourism, China has temporarily exempt visa requirements for people from Malaysia and five (5) other European countries. Starting next month, Malaysian passport holders will be able to visit China without a physical visa in their passport for up to fifteen days, while China’s citizens will enjoy 30 days of visa-free entry to Malaysia. This regulation will be in place for at least a year, starting on 1st December, 2023 until 30th November, 2024.
What you need to know about China’s new visa-free policy
- Who is eligible for this policy?
Citizens of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, or Malaysia with a standard passport are eligible for this visa-free travel arrangement.
- How long can you stay in China without a visa?
It is best to apply for a standard visa for visits that need a stay of more than 15 days.
Shanghai, China. Photo by Li Yang via Unsplash
The Li River or Li Jiang, Guilin. Photo by yantze.com
The Great Wall of China, Beijing. Photo by VCG
- Where can you go in China without a visa?
The regulation applies to the whole Mainland China area, with the exception of Tibet and Xinjiang, which require a specific authorization.
- How can you enter China without a visa?
Any port of entry is permitted, including airports, railway stations, and land borders.
- What are the benefits of this policy?
This policy provides an excellent chance for easy, flexible, and cost-effective travel to China. It saves time and money by skipping the visa application process, allowing for more spontaneous trip planning and improved mobility, which is especially useful for business travelers.
To summarize, this recent deal marks a new era of convenience for travelers, not only streamlining travel logistics but also strengthening ties across nations.
- Notice on adjustments to the visa policy for Malaysian citizens traveling to China (china-embassy.gov.cn)