While other countries are trying to make entry requirements as easy as possible, the People’s Republic of China is tightening their entry law into the country. Many tourists from all over the world who wanted to travel to China are currently considering entry.
Tourism in China has been booming for many years now, hotels of all classes are popping up all over the country. The infrastructure has been improved, the number of modern express trains has doubled in the last three years, intercity buses have become more modern and safer, causing millions of people from all over the world to travel to the country.
For some months now, the Chinese government has not been promoting tourism as much as it used to, making it difficult for people to enter the country. Until recently, visa applications were relatively normal, with four pages. Now being twice as large and extensive with eight pages.
Since September 2019, the Chinese government has been asking not only the current personal data, but also wants more background knowledge about the individual traveler. So you have to specify where you had the last three jobs, who were the bosses, where you used to live, what income the traveler has and from what he lives on.
You have to specify who the parents are, the data of the grandparents, the data of your family members, how long you live in your current place and where before etc.

a typical China view


New: fingerprint
From 16.December 2019 comes another essential and often complicated matter: When submitting the visa application at a service point (the embassy and the consulate do not accept visa applications directly) you have to give your fingerprint and passport scanned. This means that every applicant has to go to the visa agency in person. Before you were able to submit the visa application by post mail, this is no longer possible today.
This fingerprint will be valid for five years.

Where is the privacy policy?
Many people, especially in Europe who had planned to travel to China, are now thinking about removing the country from their travel plans. In our brief survey, the question of data protection came up: in the case of a visa procedure at a embassy or consulate, the applications and thus the confidential data are processed by officials.

The employees in the visa service agencies are not civil servants, who controls data protection? How to secure your personal data, sometimes in the application very personal confidential data must be specified?

High costs
In addition there are the high prices for the visa issue: They are currently around € 140 plus the costs for the trip to the Serviceagency and the time to Submission of the application in the visa agency.
You should not even think about the high travel costs in China!

The Jing Jang Hotel in Shanghai


Nice approach but expensive execution
In some cities of China there is the possibility to enter for 74 or 144 hours without a visa. But with one restriction: you have to leave China via a third country. That means the traveler from for example Germany can fly directly to Beijing or Shanghai, Chengdu or Guangzhou. If he wants to enter China without a visa, he has to fly back to another country (third country) first, for example Belgium, Switzerland or the Netherlands before he can fly back to Germany. This, too, increases travel expenses, not to mention the currently minor discrepancies in border checks in China on entry.
So you have to pay the visa fees usually again on the more expensive ticket.

Our recommendation is to apply for a visa before traveling and then fly directly to China and back again with a cheap flight.

Why?
As with many things from the People’s Republic of China, one wonders why the Chinese are doing all this to complicate the entry into their country. Maybe they do not want more tourists – or reduce the number of tourists?
On the other hand, the many actions, events and tourism fairs in which the National Tourist Board of China, the big cities and the provinces spend a lot of money to convince tourists to come to their country.

A night view of Zhenjang


Discuss with us
We would appreciate your opinions, advice and criticism. Use the direct email: china@tourism-insider.com

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