Travel restrictions

China begins to ease restrictions on business travel

In short

Entering the third year of the fight against COVID-19, China has started easing business travel restrictions and waived the PU letter requirement for business visa applications. Since the end of May 2022, China has made several adjustments to its policies to facilitate inbound travel to China. The main changes have been made to: 1) visa application policies; 2) measures for pre-departure testing and enforcement of the HDC code; and 3) post-arrival quarantine requirements.

Key points to remember

1. Relaxed visa application policies

The visa application policy has been adjusted twice in the past month. As of June 6, 2022, the PU letter requirement (previously a prerequisite for obtaining a visa) has been removed for the following visa applications:

  • Work visa (Z visa)
  • Family visit visa (S1/S2 visa)
  • Reunion visa (Q1/Q2 visa)

Effective June 28, 2022, the PU letter requirement has been removed for:

  • Business visa (M visa) for commerce and trade
  • Business visa (F visa) for exchanges and visits

Different overseas Chinese embassies and consulates may start implementing the above waivers on different dates.

Below we summarize the adjustments to the requirements for the most commonly available types of entry visas.

Visa category

Objective

Requirement

Visa M

trade and commerce

– PU letter is NOT required

– An invitation letter from the inviting entity’s company in China is required

F-visa

Exchange and visits

– PU letter is NOT required

– An invitation letter from the inviting entity’s company in China is required

Z-visa

Work

– PU letter is NOT required

– Work permit notification letter or work permit is required

S1/S2 Visa

Family visit

– PU letter is NOT required

– A parentage certificate is required

Q1/Q2 Visa

Meeting

– A parentage certificate is required

Visa R

Talent

– Confirmation letter for high-level foreign talent is required

Tourist visas, transit visas and visa waiver policies remain suspended.

2. Simplified measures for pre-departure testing and HDC code enforcement

Following the adjustment of pre-departure testing and HDC code application requirements at the end of May 2022 (see our previous alert here), at the end of June Chinese embassies and consulates abroad further announced the removal of requirements antigen test in some places. Travelers to China now only need to pass two nucleic acid tests before boarding. As a general rule, the first nucleic acid test must be performed within 48 hours of boarding and the second nucleic acid test within 24 hours of boarding, although specific rules may still vary depending on the country or region concerned.

Travelers who have a history of infection or are in close contact with someone with COVID-19 and travelers with symptoms of COVID-19 should follow additional self-quarantine and health monitoring requirements. health for a certain period and take additional nucleic acid tests at required intervals. .

3. Shortening the post-arrival quarantine period to “7+3” days

On June 28, 2022, an organ of the State Council issued the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control plan, adjusting quarantine measures. In particular, the post-arrival quarantine period for travelers to China has been shortened from “14 + 7” days to “7 + 3” days, which means that the centralized quarantine period has been shortened by 14 days to seven days, and the home-health monitoring period was shortened from seven days to three days.

This means that the total quarantine period has been adjusted from 21 days to 10 days. However, business travellers, first-time visitors and other travelers to China who are unable to meet the home health monitoring requirements will need to spend the 10 days in quarantine at a designated hotel or isolation facility.

Note that government authorities, including overseas Chinese embassies and consulates, may have specific local requirements. In addition, there are many temporary measures, which can be adjusted or changed at any time with short notice or without notice, depending on the local circumstances of COVID-19. Companies and individuals should confirm specific requirements with relevant government authorities and Chinese embassies and consulates before planning their trip.

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