November 12, 2020

China Implements Temporary Suspension of Entry for Many Nationalities

China has implemented a temporary suspension of entry into the country for non-Chinese nationals that will impact individuals from the U.K., Belgium, France, Russia, Italy, Ukraine, India, Ethiopia and Bangladesh, even those holding valid Chinese residence permits.

Given recent increases in Covid-19 cases and in an attempt to control cross-border transmission and contain further spread of the disease, there is a temporary suspension of entry in effect as of November 5.

Key developments to note include:

    • Chinese Embassies and Consulates in the U.K., Belgium and the Philippines will no longer issue Certified Health Declaration Forms for the above-mentioned non-Chinese nationals who intend to enter from these countries.
    • Entry by holders of diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected.
    • Foreign nationals visiting China under emergency circumstances may apply for visas at Chinese Embassies or Consulates. Entry by non-Chinese nationals from the impacted countries with visas issued after November 3, 2020 will not be affected.

It is important to note that this is a temporary measure implemented because of the current epidemic situation, and Chinese authorities will continue to assess the suspension as health conditions change. The Chinese Embassies/Consulates will communicate any adjustments as changes occur.

China also continues to implement strict quarantine measures for arrivals from all destinations as follows:

    • From November 6, 2020, all Chinese and foreign nationals entering China will be required to take the nucleic acid (PCR-Test) and IgM anti-body tests, and apply for a green health code with the "HS" mark or a certified health declaration form within 48 hours prior to boarding their flight.
    • On arrival, passengers are facing extended entry procedures which vary according to the city of entry. Delays of several hours should be expected.
    • All passengers arriving from abroad will undergo another compulsory nucleic acid test for COVID-19 and must then wait for the outcome. Following this they will be brought to assigned and government-approved accommodation.
    • Most passengers are assigned to government-approved hotels closest to their residence/office location, although for some destinations, there are options to choose different budgets/categories of hotels after arrival. Accommodations cannot be pre-booked or selected specifically.
    • In general, the total quarantine period at the designated hotel is 14 days and individuals are not permitted to leave the room during this period.

For further information on current entry restrictions into China, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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