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European Citizens Allowed to Return to China


In breaking news, China has announced that citizens of a number of European countries are to be allowed to return to China if they meet specific visa requirements.

Who Can Return to China?

China has now decided that foreign nationals from the listed countries (see below) who hold valid residence permits, including work permits, and family reunion visas (marriage visa) may apply for visas for free in their countries (it has not been specified if it may be done abroad).

Now whilst this is exciting news, it is also a little vague in that it says people who already have visas, rather than getting new ones. Therefore if you have an expired family reunion visa, for example, it is not yet clear if you will be permitted to apply for a new one.

The guidelines also state when applying from your own country. It is therefore also not clear if it will be possible to apply for a visa from a third country.

Applicable Countries

  • Albania
  • Ireland
  • Estonia
  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Macedonia
  • Belgium
  • Iceland
  • Bosnia
  • Poland
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • France
  • Finland
  • Holland
  • Montenegro
  • Czech Republic
  • Croatia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Romania
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Serbia
  • Cyprus
  • Slovakia
  • Croatia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • United Kingdom

Another area of slight ambiguity is that it states that all people using the scheme will still need to comply with the epidemic prevention regulations of their local governments, so whether people will be required to quarantine and undergo COVID-19 testing is not yet clear.

So, whilst it might not exactly mean that China is open to business, it certainly marks a positive development in the country, getting slightly back to normal and ideally opening again to the world

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