We’re sure this latest visa report from Reuters will be like music to the ears of some of you who have been waiting a few months to hear this:
Visa curbs on foreigners travelling into China via Hong Kong as part of a security clampdown during the Beijing Olympics will be lifted next month, a major travel industry association said yesterday.
Hong Kong, a gateway to China for foreign businessmen given the convenience of shuttling across the border on swiftly obtained China visas, was hit by tightened rules amid increased security months before the Games began.
Foreigners from dozens of countries were barred from obtaining China visas in this city, having to apply in their home countries instead – an abrupt rule widely criticised as costly and cumbersome. The issuance of multiple and double-entry visas was also curtailed during the Games.
‘Things will return to normal, like before the Olympics,’ said Mr Paul Leung, president of the Hong Kong Inbound Travel Association, citing his discussions with Chinese tourism officials. He put the date for the lifting of curbs at Oct 16.
He added that a popular ‘144-hour’ visa would again be issued in Hong Kong for groups of at least three foreigners into Guangdong, where many non-mainland and foreign businessmen run factories and offices and attend trade fairs.
‘These past two months have been very quiet because a lot of visitors didn’t bother to come, but now that things are opening up again it will be good for all parties concerned,’ he said.
For previous visa-related stories on Shanghaiist, click here