China's new transit visa rules are making it easier for 53 countries to do a quick stopover

2019-10-28 09:28
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Panoramic skyline of Shanghai,China,Sunrise,Lu Jia

(Photo: iStock)

China has announced new transit visa rules that will allow 53 countries easier access to China's best cities and sights. 

The 'G Visa' has been revamped to include a six-day instead of a three-day visa, allowing a 144-hour (maximum time) stopover for travellers in Chinese cities on their way to a third destination. Granting travellers access from 27 ports onward with proof of a third country destination, which includes Hong Kong and Macau, seeing China is now set to be a breeze. 

To secure the visa, travellers must show a ticket onto their final destination, i.e. either by plane or cruise, have a filled out visa application form, and have affixed passport-sized photos to it.

The list of cities that one can visit in transit will now include World Heritage Site Xi'an, historical wonders in Ningbo, Chengdu, which is known for its pandas and cultural hub Chongqing, from 1 December 2019, says CNN

WATCH: Don't look down! Tourists brave the world's longest glass bridge in China

Do note that multiple stops in China are not allowed. Visitors cannot explore multiple Chinese cities on the G Visa, says Travel and Leisure. You are allowed to spend, for example three days in Xi'an as a stopover before moving onto Hong Kong or another destination. 

CGTN says that these prolonged exemptions will greatly benefit foreign tourists and businessmen. The perfect 'bleisure' visa. 

Starting November 2019, visitors to South Africa will be able to apply for visas online when the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) launches a pilot scheme for the e-visa system. 

READ: e-Visa pilot to start ahead of Festive Season, making travel easier to SA

This will make travel much easier for foreign tourists, as they will be able to apply for their travel documents from the comfort of their homes, which was especially problematic for visitors from India and China. South African has thus simplified visa requirements for China as the market is key.

READ: China excludes SA from new list of visa-free travel to its island of Hainan

However, South Africans still need visas for China and are currently not included in the 53 countries allowed this transit visa. Similarly, in 2018 China unveiled plans to permit visa-free travel to its southern island of Hainan; again SA was excluded from this visa-free list.

Where is the love China? The reciprocal kindness? 

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