China tightens visa rules for US citizens

7 May 2009

Travellers holding a US passport now have to wait six working days to get a visa to enter China. Express visa application services have also been suspended.

Previously, US citizens could obtain a China visa in as little as one day.

The new visa regulation took effect May 4 and is believed to be part of China’s strident measures to prevent the H1N1 flu to enter the country. The US has the highest number of infected persons outside of Mexico.

American citizens also have to now fill in a form listing the countries and US states that they would have visited two weeks before their arrival to China.

The new China visa rules for Americans are only temporary, although the government did not say how long they would be enforced.

No official reason was given for the change in visa rules. Talking to the local media, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said “relevant adjustment (to the visa policy) is non-discriminatory and is not targeted at any country”.

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Joshua Tan


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