Chinese embassies in a number of countries have announced that, as of March 15, visa rules will be eased for recipients of China-produced vaccines, reports China Daily.

The new rules apply to citizens from Japan, Israel, Thailand, Pakistan, Philippines, United States, Germany, Australia and Greece. The same relaxed rules also apply to foreign nationals entering the Chinese mainland from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Remember that visa requirements may vary country-to-country so always double-check with your nearest Chinese embassy or consulate regarding the latest requirements for entry into China.

A notice issued by the Chinese Embassy in the United States says that the new relaxed rules apply to those who have been inoculated with a China-produced vaccine and have obtained the vaccine certificate.

Other key points of the notice include the following:

  • Foreign nationals and family members visiting China for the “resumption of work and production in various fields” can apply for a visa according to rules in place pre-COVID pandemic
  • Eligibility criteria for those applying “out of emergency humanitarian needs” will be broadened to allow foreign family members of Chinese citizens or permanent residents to apply for the purposes of reuniting with family, taking care of the elderly, visiting relatives, attending funerals or visiting critically ill relatives
  • Those with valid APEC business travel cards can apply for a category-M (business) visa by presenting their original valid APEC business travel card and invitation letter from the inviting party in the Chinese mainland
  • Travelers entering China will have to provide proof of a negative nucleic acid test result and antibody blood tests as per rules still in place

Quarantine is still a necessity for those entering the Chinese mainland from overseas.

For many reading this article, the elephant in the room will likely be the question of how to receive a China-produced vaccine where one is not available. In many of the countries mentioned above, including the United States, there have been no China-produced vaccines approved by relevant health authorities.

Wang Yi, state councilor and foreign minister, has said China is willing to discuss mutual recognition of vaccines with other countries. But until this happens, it seems a China-produced vaccine is the only way to make your China visa application smoother.