Chinese embassies in multiple countries including Japan, Israel, Thailand, and Federated States of Micronesia will streamline visa application procedure for foreigners who have been inoculated with China-produced vaccines starting from Monday, in an effort to resume normal personnel exchanges in the post-epidemic era.
Starting from Monday, people visiting China for business purposes and have been inoculated with Chinese COVID-19 vaccines can prepare materials and apply for visas according to requirements in pre-epidemic times, said a notice issued by the Chinese Embassy in Japan.
Foreign family members of Chinese citizens or permanent residents who go to China for emergency humanitarian needs, including spouses, parents, children and other close relatives, if the reason for visiting China is a family reunion, visiting relatives, funeral or caring for critically ill patients, can apply for visas once their vaccination certificates are obtained.
Foreign nationals with APEC Business Travel Cards can also resume visa applications with invitation letters, read the statement.
Before the issuance of the notice, the embassy had suggested a "no travel for non-essential purposes" policy to avoid cross-infections from international personnel exchanges.
The Chinese Embassy in Israel, Thailand, and Federated States of Micronesia have also issued similar notices as of press time, stressing that people visiting China for business purposes no longer need invitation letters provided by provincial-level foreign affairs or commerce departments, or by central state-owned enterprises.
Chinese embassies in these countries also noted in the statement that COVID-19 nucleic acid tests and serology IgM antibody tests taken within 48 hours are still required upon arrival, and travelers must follow local quarantine rules at their destinations in China.
It is worth noting that such detailed requirements were not specifically laid out in the simplified visa policy on Sunday for foreigners applying to enter the Chinese mainland via Hong Kong.
The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region issued a notice on Friday exempting foreign visa applicants who have received a Chinese vaccine from having to provide health certification. Chinese experts said it can be seen as a trial for China to explore vaccine visas and hopefully can be expanded to other parts of the world.