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2024 China Travel Requirements & Policy ( updated Jan 30, 2024)


With the gradual control on the virus of COVID-19 and declination of the infection, as well as more and more people get vaccinated, people start to ask when I can travel to China? Can I travel to China in 2024?

YES, of course. All international travelers with valid passport and visa can travel from China in 2024. 

China has already fully openned its border to welcome the international travelers from March 15th, 2023. Travelers with valid visas (including visas issued before March 28, 2020 are still valid) can enter China. All categories of Chinese visas including L-Visa (tourist visa) application is resumed and port visas are no longer suspended. Besides, 72-hour Visa Exemption and 144-hour Visa Free policys are also resumed. 

Starting from Aug. 30, travelers to China will no longer need to take nucleic acid or antigen tests and also no long need to fill out the Entry/Exit Health Declaration Form since Nov 01, 2023 , according to a statement from the General Administration of Customs.

Therefore, China is definitely one of your best travel destinations if you are planning your holiday. If you are now making a tour plan to China for your upcoming holiday, or even only with tentative dates, just contact us. The 1-1 travel consultant will customize you a China tour. You will be 100% refunded for any payment to TopChinaTravel if you cancel the booking 1 month before the departure date. 

Content Preview

How Can I Enter China

Process of China Visa Application

China Visa Free Policy

Do I Need a PCR Test to Enter China

Hong Kong & Macau Travel Restrictions

About The Latest Entry Policies

Recommended China Tours for First-timer 


How Can I Enter China?

Wow! China has already fully opened the border to international travelers. That means you can travel to China if you hold valid visa or meet the relavent policy. There are several ways to enter China sharing with you as below,


China has already resumed all visa application for entering China. 

If you have a valid China visa(any visa,including tourist visa), which is still valid, you can use it directly to enter China.

If your passport has expired, but your China visa is valid, you can use your expired passport containing a valid China visa and your new passport to enter China, but ensure the identical information on both passports.

If you do not have a China visa or your China visa has already expired, you can apply a new one. China has already resumed all types of visa application from March 15th, 2023, including  tourist visa (L-Visa), business visa (M-Visa), work visa (Z-Visa) and so on. You are suggested to submit the visa application at least two months in advance. 

For different visa application, the documents required are difference. i.e. For tourist visa application, except the general documents such as valid passport (validity more than 6 months), photocopy of the passport,  COVA visa form, proof of residence, where you stay form, etc.,  round-trip air tickets and hotel orders (name and personal information of the applicant must be included), or invitation letters issued by a travel agency or individual are also requested. When you book a tour package with Top China Travel, we will offer you the invitation letter, which will give more convience and more flexibility of your air tickets & hotel bookings. 

Therefore, the documents are required for different type of visa. For more details about the docments required for visa application, you may check the information offered by a China embassy / consulate
China Tourist Visa
China Tourist Visa

Process of China Visa Application

Now it is easy to apply for a visa according this Process of Visa Application suggested by a China embassy. You can apply for a visa by yourself instead of any intermediary. 

  1. Fill in the COVA forms at the website  China Online Visa Application (COVA)”.
  2. Make appointments at the Visa Office by the website “Appointment for Visa Application Submission (AVAS)
  3. Prepare and take the physical required documents to submit to the Visa office of China embassy / consulate at the appointed time.
  4. Get a return receipt if all the documents are qualified.


  • After completing the COVA forms as required, please make sure to print the full set of COVA forms (8-9 pages) and signon the Confirmation Page and the 8thpage. If the COVA forms are not prepared as guided, the application will not be accepted.
  •  If the physical documents do not meet the requirements or not sufficient, the application may be returned, and the applicant may need to fill in the COVA forms again and make another appointment for on-site submission.
  • If the applicants are unable to be present at the Visa Office at the appointed time, they must log on to the website "Appointment for Visa Application Submission (AVAS)" to cancel the appointment at least 1 business day in advance. Otherwise, the COVA Application ID and the AVAS Appointment Number will be invalidated. The applicant needs to fill in a new COVA form and make another appointment on AVAS.
  • Please check all the information on the visa is correct when picking up. If there is any inaccuracy, please tell the staff immediately in case inconvenience brought by the incorrect information.

Generally speaking, the visa will be got after 7 working days and the visa fee is about USD150 per person. 

72/144 Hours Transit Visa Exemption Program

China has aready resumed its 144-hour Transit Visa Exemption Program, which allow tourist to enjoy a longer stay (6 days) in China without visa. It is a good solution for many tourists who would like to travel to China, but do not want to bother visa-application. 

What city or port are visa-free?

Currently, there are Over 20 cities and ports in China which apply to the 144-hour transit policy, including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Nanjing, Beijing, Tianjin, Shenyang, Dalian, Qingdao, Xi'an, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen, etc.

What are the conditions for visa-free policy?

If you would like to enjoy the 144-hour visa free policy, you will need to meet the qualifying creteria,

  • Applicable for the passport holders from 54 countries and areas, including USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
  • It is only suitable for those who fly to the 3rd country or area (inclusive of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) but transit in Chinese mainland. For example. If the itinerary of USA – Shanghai – Hong Kong or Canada – Beijing – South Korea is acceptable for the transit visa exemption policy, but the route of USA – Shanghai – USA is not.
  • Before entry into China, you must hold an onward ticket departing Chinese mainland within 144 hours to the 3rd country or area.
  • No matter from which cities of China you transit your flight, you can only travel within the permit region, but not travel out of it. For example. If you transit in Shanghai under the 144 hours visa exemption program, you are permitted to visit Shanghai, areas in Jiangsu provinces and Zhejiang province, i.e. Suzhou, Hangzhou, but you are not allowed to travel to Beijing.
  • When you fly to the 3rd country, please ensure you have already to the visa to the 3rd country if visa is requested.


Visa Exemption for Cruise Groups to Shanghai

Shanghai implement a 15-day visa free plicy for those groups who enter China from Shanghai cruise port, which started from Oct 1st, 2016.

Tour Groups entering from Shanghai cruise port to China should be received by a legal travel agency in Shanghai.

The group should arrive and depart on the same cruise. The stay duration can not exceed 15 days and the activity scope is limited to some coastal provinces and Beijing, namely The duration of stay shall not exceed 15 days (from the day after entry), and the scope of activities shall be limited to coastal provinces and Beijing, namely: Shanghai, Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, cities in Hainan province where the cruise port is located and cities in neighboring provinces and Beijing.

Visa Exemption for Tour Groups from ASEAN countries to Guilin

Tour groups holding ordinary passports from ASEAN countries, including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines, entering China from Guilin Airport Port enjoy a 144-hour ( 6 days) visa free policy. This policy was implemented from May 28th, 2015. 

Hainan Province Visa Free Policy

Travelers from 59 countries, holding ordinary passport, enjoy a 30-day visa free policy. The travelers should fly to Hainan province directly from Hong Kong or other countries. Tourists can submit an application or be arranged by a legally managed travel agency in Hainan province. 

List for visa-free countries to Hainan:

Russia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Norway, Ukraine, Italy, Austria, Finland, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Monaco, Belarus, United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar.

Pearl River Delta Area Visa Free Policy

No visa is requested for the international travelers from Hong Kong or Macau visiting the Pearl River Delta area (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, etc.) as long as they travel with a registered tour operator. 


The APEC Business Travel Card is equivalent to a short-term business visa. If you are APEC card holder, you can travel to China with a visa. Generally speaking, an APEC card is valid for five years since its application. The holder can enter China for multiple times during its validity and stay in China for up to 60 days each time.


Do I Need a PCR Test to Enter China?

COVID-19 testing is no longer a requirement for entering China. You do not need to provide any proof of a negative PCR test or a vaccination certificate to enter China.

Hong Kong & Macau Travel Restrictions

Persons travelling from Hong Kong / Macau to the Mainland are not required to complete China Customs’ Health Declaration Form to declare their health information before departure (the pre-departure rapid antigen test or nucleic acid test requirement has been removed since 0:00 of 30 August 2023 (local time)) .

About The Latest Entry Policies

  • On May 7, 2024, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that China has decided to extend 15-day visa-free policy to citizens of 12 countries until December 31, 2025. These countries include France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Citizens holding ordinary passports from these countries can enter China without a visa for purposes such as business, tourism, sightseeing, visiting relatives, or transit, provided that their stay does not exceed fifteen days.
  • From 14.March 2024 to 30.November 2024, Beijing time, with ordinary passport holders from Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg will come to China for business, tourist, visiting family and friends, and transit within the limit of 15 days, visa-free entry
  • At January 11, 2024, China has implemented five measures to simplify the visa process and make it easier for foreign nationals to visit, stay, and work in China for various purposes. 
  • As of January 18, 2024, travelers from Switzerland and Ireland can enjoy a 15-day visa-free entry to China for tourism, business, transit, and visiting friends and relatives. From December 1, 2023 to November 30, 2024, travelers from France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia can also enjoy a 15-day visa-free entry to China for the same purposes.
  • If you are from Singapore, you can also enter China without a visa for up to 30 days, starting from early 2024. This is a reciprocal agreement between China and Singapore, which also allows Chinese citizens to visit Singapore visa-free for the same duration. 

China currently can be one of your travel options in 2024. Do not hesitate to CONTACT US to plan a trip in China, with the assistance from our expert travel consultant offering 1-1 service.

Recommended China Tours for First-timer Traveling to China

11 Days China Wonders Experience Tour, covering Beijing (Forbidden City & Great Wall), Xian ( Qin Terracotta Warriors), Guilin and Shanghai, the most famous and classic travel route in China, to enjoy the history, culture, natural view and modernity of China. 

Check Top China Tours to view more China tours for first-timer traveling to China. 

Or you check a variety of 2023-2024 China Tours according to your preference, getting more tour inpiration.