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[Photo via VCG]

China is progressively abolishing the appointment system for visa applications, with nearly 100 Chinese embassies and consulates abroad now offering appointment-free services. By the end of 2023, all Chinese embassies and consulates worldwide are expected to do away with the visa appointment requirement.

To provide convenience and more access for foreigners traveling to China, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has actively revised policies regarding visas and entry, reinstating unilateral visa exemptions. A total of 260 Chinese embassies and consulates worldwide are keeping their channels open for visa processing, allowing applicants to submit their visa requests at any designated application site in most instances.

In addition, port visa services have been initiated at 99 open ports across 77 cities in China, which see substantial entry volumes. A 24-hour transit visa exemption is now available to foreign nationals at all international ports, together with a 72/144-hour transit visa exemption applied at 31 ports in 23 cities across 18 provinces (regions and municipalities) for nationals from 54 countries. Regional entry visa exemptions include 144-hour visa-free access for overseas tourist groups from Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR entering Guangdong Province, 144-hour visa-free access for tourist groups from 10 ASEAN countries heading to Guilin in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, a 15-day visa-free period for cruise passengers entering Shanghai, and a 30-day visa-free entry for nationals from 59 countries visiting Hainan.