“Holders of virtual APEC business travel card are free to enter China!No need to apply for a new visa!”
Previously in August 2022, China had already allowed people with physical APEC Business Travel Cards to enter China, and relevant people do not need to re-apply for visas to China. However, it is limited to physical cards, for virtual card holders, entry is still blocked.
Now! Good news here!
Recently, Chinese embassies and consulates abroad issued a notice that, starting from May 1st 2023, virtual APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) holders will be allowed to enter the Mainland of China with no need to apply for new visas.
For now, the news has covered countries including Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Peru, Japan, Brunei, Singapore and Egypt.
Virtual APEC business travel card holders are still required to apply for Chinese visas during the transition period before the change becomes effective, and China will provide necessary facilitation in visa applications, according to what was told in the embassy websites.
Finally! We get one more visa- free channel to China!
But what exactly is the APEC business travel card mentioned in the notice?
The APEC Business Travel Card is a multilateral long-term visa provided by 21 economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) for their citizens. With a valid passport, the holders can enter and exit China multiple times without applying for a visa within the validity period of the card and can stay in China for 60 days each time.
At present, the 21 APEC economies include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taipei (China), Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. Among them, the United States and Canada are currently transitional members and do not accept travel card applications from other economies, but provide visa applications and entry and exit facilities for cardholders from other economies.
In addition to the resumption of the visa-free policy, the requirements for COVID tests on boarding have also been relaxed.
Chinese embassies in New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Hungary have informed that from March 1, passengers taking direct flights from the local areas to China can replace 48-hour nucleic acid testing with antigen testing (including self-testing), and airlines will no longer check relevant reports.
From the good news recently, tourist visa might be resumed soon too! Already excited!