National Immigration Administration answers on issues concerning Immigration and Exit-entry Administration during the period of prevention and control on pneumonia caused by Novel Coronavirus
1. Q: Are foreigners allowed to enter or exit as usual during the period of epidemic prevention and control?
A: The Chinese government has taken a series of powerful measures since the outbreak of pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus. At present, except for the lockdown of the exit channel of Wuhan ports, visa agencies in other ports are operating as usual. Visa-free transit policy for foreigners are still effective. All land, sea and air ports of China are functioning. Foreigners can enter or exit as usual with their valid international travel documents.
At present, it is helpful to the epidemic prevention and control by reducing cross border travels. Foreigners could make reasonable travel arrangements to China and stay or reside in China as usual. Due to entry restrictions adopted by some countries and regions, it is advised that foreigners who need to exit from China should learn in advance entry requirements of the destination countries or regions to avoid financial and time losses in case of any entry refusals. Those who travel to countries or regions without entry restrictions are advised to arrive at exit ports well ahead of departure time for necessary checks. Foreigners having fever with symptoms of acute respiratory infection such as cough or breathing difficulties should avoid international travels and seek immediate medical treatment at the nearest hospitals. Information of such as recent activities as well as close contacts should be provided to relevant authorities for any necessary control measures.
2. Q: How do foreigners apply for visas, stay or residence permits during the period of epidemic prevention and control?
A: All exit-entry administration (EEA) authorities in China will be in full service for extension and issuance of visa and stay or residence permits to ensure foreigners' legitimate stay in China. Urgent services for emergency situations will also be provided. To avoid crowds gathering risks, the EEA authorities will make arrangements for services on appointments. Foreigners could make appointments in advance for any applications. For those institutions which host high numbers of foreigners, such as universities, scientific research institutes and business enterprises, the EEA authorities will allow additional agent service or provide other necessary conveniences depending upon the situations.
3. Q: How to deal with the situation that a foreigner's visa, stay or residence permit expires during the epidemic prevention and control?
A: According to Exit and Entry Administration Law of the PRC, foreigners should exit China or apply for extension at the EEA authorities before the visa, stay or residence permit expires. In light of the relevant laws and regulations and current situations, those who are unable to exit as scheduled or extend the visas, stay or residence permits due to the reason of epidemic prevention and control shall be given a lighter or mitigated or be exempted from punishment by the EEA authorities depending upon circumstances.
4. Q: What can foreigners do to cooperate during the epidemic prevention and control?
A: It is advised that foreigners enhance sense of self-protection, avoid crowded public places and take effective preventive measures. It is strongly suggested to actively cooperating with local communities and inviting entities to take preventive measures, abiding by relevant laws and regulations and following instructions of public security organs, NIA authorities, hygiene & health authorities. In case of having a fever with symptoms of acute respiratory infection such as cough or breathing difficulties, foreigners should report to the local communities, NIA authorities or hygiene & health authorities and cooperate in medical treatment and epidemic control. NIA authorities at all levels will work closely with relevant departments for the epidemic prevention and control to provide consultancy to foreigners, assist in disease screening and diagnosis with medical departments as well as dealing with other difficulties and problems encountered by foreigners during their stay in China.
5. Q: Are Chinese mainland residents allowed to exit or enter as usual?
A: At present, except for the lockdown of the exit channel of Wuhan ports, all other land, sea and air ports of China are in normal service. Chinese mainland residents could exit or enter with their valid international travel documents. All immigration inspection agencies of NIA will continue to provide services and conveniences for Chinese nationals, and coordinate with relevant hygiene & health authorities to conduct necessary epidemic checks. In view of the epidemic prevention and control situation as well as entry restrictions adopted by some countries and regions, in order to ensure health and safety of travelers and maintain exit and entry order, it is advised that Chinese mainland residents make reasonable travel plans and avoid unnecessary financial and time costs. Based on currently available information, countries including DPRK, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia, ROK, Qatar, Japan, Vietnam, India, Britain, Indonesia, France, Myanmar, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka as well as Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and Taiwan province have adopted entry restrictions for travelers from the Chinese mainland. If travelers are in urgent need of exit from the Chinese mainland, it is advised that they make travel arrangements after consulting with relevant diplomatic representative agencies, airlines or the inviting entities of the destination counties or regions.
6. Q: Could Chinese citizens apply for travel documents such as passports at the EEA authorities?
A: In order to ensure health and safety of Chinese citizens and foreigners, reduce risks of cross-border travels for the epidemic prevention and control, maintain normal exit and entry order, it is advised that the Chinese mainland residents make reasonable travel plans, and postpone applications of travel documents unless in emergency. At present, the EEA of Hubei Province has suspended accepting travel documents applications from Chinese citizens. Normal services will be resumed according to the situation of the epidemic prevention and control. Application services are suspended in EEA of other provinces during Chinese Spring Festival holiday. Under normal circumstances, the application centers except for Hubei Province will be back into service after Chinese Spring Festival holiday.
Applicants could contact local EEA authorities in advance for further information about opening time of application centers and relevant requirements. To avoid crowds gathering and unnecessary travels, applicants in need could confirm the time for submitting applications by online appointment, so that EEA authorities could provide better services and enhance efficiency. Applicants in urgent need for travel documents (including those in Hubei Province) could contact local EEA authorities at any time for urgent applications.
7. Q: Are travelers allowed to exit and enter via ports of Wuhan?
A: International travelers can enter China through ports of Wuhan (referring to Wuhan Tianhe International Airport and Hankou ferry terminal). Due to the lockdown of the exit channels of Wuhan ports, exits through any ports of Wuhan can only be permitted with approval.
8. Q: Could Chinese mainland residents go through e-channels as usual?
A: Some of immigration inspection agencies may close some e-channels for the moment due to current situation of the epidemic prevention and control. Under such circumstances, travelers should go through manual inspection channels. It is advised for travelers to follow instructions of NIA officers and go through border clearance formalities according to relevant regulations.
During the epidemic prevention and control period, immigration officers at manual inspection channels may work together with relevant authorities and take necessary preventive measures such as taking travels' temperatures and making inquiries about travel itineraries and close contacts . Cooperation by the travelers will be appreciated. Immigration inspection agencies will make efforts to guarantee border inspection waiting time no more than 30 minutes for Chinese citizens at large ports and smooth border clearance for foreign visitors.
9. Q: How to deal with the situation that some travelers have already obtained endorsements to Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and Taiwan province but cannot travel due to the epidemic?
A: At present, regional authorities of Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and Taiwan province have conducted travel restrictions for Chinese mainland residents. For those who have obtained endorsements to Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and Taiwan province but fail to enter within the validity of endorsements because of the epidemic, EEA authorities will, after the clearance of the epidemic, issue the same type of endorsements with the same validity free of charge according to the holder's wishes.
10. Q: How to deal with the situation that travelers have suspicious symptoms?
A: If travelers have symptoms of acute respiratory infection, such as cough and breathing difficulties, they should suspend travels immediately, stay far away from the crowds and seek treatment at the nearest medical institutions. The NIA authorities will provide necessary assistance as well.