China Temporarily Suspends Visa Requirement for Eleven European Countries

Verbotene Stadt in Peking, China

In December 2023, China initiated an interesting trial phase: the strict visa requirement was suspended, allowing citizens from six countries to spend up to 15 days in the country without a visa.

Officially, an expansion of visa-free travel has now been announced. Beginning on March 14, travellers holding Swiss, Austrian, Belgian, Luxembourgish, Irish, and Hungarian citizenship will also be allowed to enter China without a visa. Conditions for entry include the passport being valid for at least another 6 months, entry for tourist or business purposes, and a maximum stay of 15 days.

As early as January, Chinese Premier Li Qiang had announced visa exemption for Swiss citizens. At that time, the relevant authorities were unable to provide a specific date for implementation.

Who is allowed to travel visa-free to China?

As of March 14th, the visa-free travel regulation applies to a total of 11 countries in Europe:

Since December 2023:

  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Spain

    Starting as of March 14, 2024:

    • Belgium
    • Ireland
    • Luxembourg
    • Switzerland
    • Hungary
    • Austria

There is initially no change to the expiration date of this special regulation: it initially applies only to travel until November 30, 2024. An extension beyond that date, however, does not seem unlikely.

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Source: SRF & BMEIA Österreich

Cover Picture: © chungking -

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