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Summary

As of November 6th, 2020, several Chinese embassies have issued notice suspending entry of foreigners holding Chinese visas, residence permits, and certain other valid visas.

Background

In response to the recent global rebound in COVID-19 cases, the Chinese government has implemented several temporary measures to contain the spread of the epidemic. To this end, the "Notice on Suspension of Partially Valid Chinese Visas, effective from November 4th, 2020, was published on the websites of Chinese embassies in the UK, France, Belgium, Italy, Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Russia and other jurisdictions.

Key contents and updates

Who will be affected?

The following foreign individuals will no longer be able to use these visa/permit to enter China.

  • Holding a valid Chinese visa, work-type, personal affairs and family reunion residence permit issued on or before November 3rd, 2020. This applies to those foreign individuals who are currently located in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy, Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Russia and other countries. 

Who will be not affected?

The following foreign individuals are still be able to use these visa to enter China.

  • Holding a valid  diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas; or
  • Holding a valid visa issued after November 3rd , 2020.

Chinese Embassies in several countries have airline boarding condition which requires passengers of Chinese and foreign nationality to have  in their possession a “Double Negative Certificate“. Specifically, passengers boarding an China-inbound aircraft are required to obtain:

  • Certificate of Negative Results within 48 hours before boarding for Nucleic Acid and IgM anti-body tests (“Double Negative Certificate“) ; and
  • “Green” Health Code with "HS" remark or certified Declaration of Health status before boarding.

[Note: As of today, Ukraine is a new impacted country.]

KPMG observations

With the rebound of the COVID-19 in many countries, Chinese policymakers may implement further immigration control measures. This also means that in the coming period, international business and personal travel will face a new round of challenges. Foreign individuals who have travel plans to come to China are advised to consider the following issues and seek professional assistance where necessary: 

  • A question arises in relation to countries for which the local Chinese embassy is yet to issue a suspension notice. For foreign individuals who have obtained a visa to come to China on or before November 3rd , 2020, or who hold a valid residence permit , how should they deal with potential China entry issues?
  • Are Chinese visa application centers in overseas countries still operating as normal during the rebound of the pandemic?
  • In order to avoid a failure to apply for a Health Code or Health Commitment in a transit country which might result in obstruction and retention, foreign individuals should confirm the relevant policy in a timely manner and make an appointment in advance to arrange for Nucleic Acid and IgM anti-body tests in the transit country.
  • How should organizations act proactively by suspending international assignments to contain the spread, and review the associated relevant risks, initiate contingency plan to minimize risks and costs?

KPMG will continue to follow policy and practice updates announced by the national and local immigration authorities, and inform our clients accordingly. Please contact a member of the KPMG Immigration Practice for practical solutions.