The coronavirus pandemic has made traveling very unpredictable at times. Depending on where you’ve traveled to during COVID, you may or may not have felt this way. But we do know that there’s one specific destination that’s giving travelers a lot of headaches, and that destination is China. Before the pandemic began, traveling to China wasn’t all that challenging. But if you ask anyone who is trying to enter the country now, they will most likely tell you a different story. There are certain conditions that you need to meet and plenty of rules and restrictions that need to be closely followed to enter. So, what exactly do you need in order to travel to China, and why is it so difficult during COVID? Here’s what you need to know:
Why is Traveling to China Difficult During COVID?
Traveling to China has become more challenging during COVID due to multiple factors. First and foremost, you now need to obtain permission from the Chinese government to enter China. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the easiest task. To be granted permission, you will need to provide a reason that states why you need to urgently travel to China. The Shanghai FAO will review your request and let you know if they consider your reasoning sufficient.
Another reason that it’s challenging to travel to China during COVID is that there are numerous entry requirements. To enter, you will need to provide a negative PCR test and antibody test that was taken within 48 hours of your flight. You will also need to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Failure to provide these items may result in you not being able to enter China, or you may have to quarantine on arrival.
What do I Need to Enter China?
You may need to obtain a PU invite to enter China. A PU invite is an official invitation letter issued by the China Foreign Affairs Office. It’s important to note that the person inviting the applicant to China is responsible for this step, and not much can be done from the US besides requesting an invitation.
Another thing you will need to do is get permission from the Chinese government to enter China. To gain permission, you will need to explain why you urgently need to visit China. You should write down and explain your urgent business or personal matter on your application and then submit this request to the Shanghai FAO for review. They will get back to you and let you know if your reason is acceptable or not.
You will also need to have a passport and visa to enter China. If you’re looking to obtain a passport or visa to China, you can get the process started on the Swift website.
What Are the COVID Travel Rules and Restrictions in China?
As of February 24, 2022, anyone entering China will have to provide a negative PCR and antibody test that was taken within 48 hours of your flight. You will also need to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. If you cannot provide the two negative tests and proof of vaccination, you may need to quarantine on arrival. It’s important that you frequently check China’s travel rules and restrictions as they could change. You can visit the China Embassy website for up-to-date information.
What is the Current COVID Status in China?
COVID cases in China have slowed down and stayed pretty steady. As of February 24, 2022, there have been 108,000 cases of COVID in China and 4,636 deaths. Furthermore, from February 10-23, there were a total of 1,717 cases in Mainland China. Though coronavirus cases are relatively low, you should still take precautions while visiting China so that you can keep yourself and those around you safe. Wash your hands often, wear a mask in crowded areas, sanitize your frequently used items, keep your distance from others, and be respectful of those around you.
How Can I Get a China Visa?
If you’re looking to get a business visa to China, Swift can help. When you’re ready to begin the application process, you can do so on the Swift website. Please make sure that you have the following items with you when applying:
- Valid Passport
- China Visa Application
- Copy of Passport Information Page
- Passport Photo
- PU Invitation
- U.S. Company letter of Intent
- Copy of Valid Photo ID
- Copy of Last China Visa (if Applicable)
There are some additional requirements for former citizens of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and there are specific jurisdictional requirements based on where you reside. You can learn more about this information on the Swift website. Please note that the issuance of a China visa, visa processing times, and visa requirements are at the discretion of the Chinese Embassy and/or Consulate in the country the applicant is applying from.
If you plan on traveling internationally and need to obtain a passport, we’d be happy to help! You can get started on the process of obtaining an expedited passport or expedited passport renewal on the Swift website. If you have any questions about obtaining a passport, please don’t hesitate to contact us. A knowledgeable member of our team would be happy to help. As always, no matter where you plan to travel in the world, we’ll get you there!