Do you need a visa to visit China now? Here's what one Singaporean found out during her recent trip

Do you need a visa to visit China now? Here's what one Singaporean found out during her recent trip
PHOTO: TikTok/Wafflenessa

Were you one of those who braved the long queues at the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre recently? 

Well, if you're intending to go to China resort island Hainan, you may not have to. 

In a TikTok video uploaded on Thursday (May 4), content creator Vanessa Chia shared how she and her partner scrambled before their flight to Hainan as they did not apply for a Chinese visa.

"Literally hours before my flight, my friends were all telling me that I needed to apply for visa but we didn't apply," recounted Chia. 

Chia initially did not believe them as her boyfriend had checked and found that no visa is required for the trip. 

However, when Chia checked with a friend's agent, she was told that she needed one. 

"Of course, I started panicking," she said, adding that when she learnt this, her flight was just five hours away. 

Seeking help from friends who recently travelled to China, Chia heard that she can get a visa approved in just one day if she goes through an agent. 

Running out of time, the pair decided that they would just try their luck. 

"We were like let's just wing it, let's just go to the airport and see if we can get through," she said. 

And it worked. 

"So yes, just for your information, if you all want to go to Hainan, it is visa-free for Singaporeans," concluded Chia. 

@wafflenessa

We spent a total of 5 hours at the airport figuring out what to do omg nerve-wracking but we made it :’)

♬ original sound - Vanessa Chia

According to an update on the Chinese Embassy in Singapore's website on March 14, there is now visa-free entry to Hainan province. 

In 2020, the People's Republic of China Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the 15-day visa-free facility for Singaporeans travelling to China had been suspended until further notice.

Additionally, visa-free entry for cruises to Shanghai, visa-free entry to Guangdong province for foreigners from Hong Kong and Macao and visa-free entry to Guilin, Guangxi for Asean tourist groups will be resumed.

AsiaOne has reached out to Chia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) for more details. 

Snaking queues to apply for visas 

On March 14, China announced that it will reopen its borders to foreign tourists for the first time in three years since the pandemic, by restoring the issuance of all types of visas from March 15 onwards. 

Areas in China that required no visas prior to the pandemic will revert to visa-free entry, the foreign ministry said.

The ministry also said foreigners holding visas issued before March 28, 2020 that are still within their validity dates will also be able to enter China.

Understandably, those who've missed travelling to the country were excited to apply for their China visas. 

@bernardlow1972

早期起鸟儿有虫吃?;不一定

♬ original sound - bernardlow6 - Bernard Low 刘振池

But these plans were affected by the snaking long queues outside of the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre this week.

One man thought he could beat the queue by coming down early

Despite reaching the centre at 3am on Wednesday (May 3), he found a whopping 104 people ahead of him. 

"The queue started as early as 6pm the day before. I arrived at 3am and I was already the 105th person in the queue," he revealed. 

ALSO READ: Planning your next holiday? How to check your Singapore visa application status online

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melissateo@asiaone.com

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