Swiss & Irish Nationals Might Soon Be Able to Enter China Visa-Free

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Nationals of Switzerland and Ireland might soon be able to enter China visa-free as the country has announced plans aimed at facilitating travel for these European nations.

The Chinese Premier Li Qiang is currently on a visit to the EU. During his visit to Switzerland for the purpose of attending the World Economic Forum, Li Qiang suggested that Swiss travellers would soon be permitted to enter China without the need to obtain a visa.

Following this event, Li Qiang travelled to Ireland, where during a meeting with the Irish President Higgins, he said that China wants to facilitate personnel exchanges between the two countries, indicating the possibility of dropping the visa requirement soon, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The decision of China to lift the visa requirement for nationals of Switzerland and Ireland might only be a matter of time, as the country has already dropped the visa rule for some EU countries and has also facilitated the rules for some other third countries.

Chinaโ€™s plan to permit visa-free travel for Swiss and Irish nationals comes as part of the countryโ€™s attempt to attract more tourists post-COVID and improve ties with the EU nations.

The travel and tourism sector of China has been strongly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, which left the country in lockdown for months.

Now that there is no risk and everything is back to normal, China wants to promote tourism to the country and attract travellers from all over the world, especially those from the EU.

As part of its move to help the travel and tourism industry recover, China introduced visa-free entry for travellers from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain on December 1, 2023.

Under the visa-free regime, travellers from these five EU countries are permitted to stay in China for up to 15 days for tourism, business, family, or transit purposes.

The only downside of this regime is that visa-free travel from these countries will be permitted on a โ€œtrial basisโ€, with the authorities saying that the visa requirement will start applying again after November 2024.

According to the Chinese authorities, the lifting of the visa requirement for passport holders of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain has proven to be an effective measure.

Data show that in December 2023 alone, around 118,000 visitors from these five countries entered China visa-free for tourism and business purposes. Higher numbers of visitors are expected to be registered this month as well as during spring.

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