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Travel Entry Requirements

To enter the People's Republic of China, a citizen from other countries must have a valid country passport and Chinese visa. Visitors arriving without valid passports and Chinese visas are generally not permitted to enter China and may also be subject to fines. Please do not rely on Chinese host organizations claiming to be able to arrange visa issuance upon arrival. Visas are required to transit China, even if one is only changing flights at an airport. Persons transiting China on the way to and from Mongolia or North Korea or who plan to re-enter from the Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions should be sure to obtain visas allowing multiple entries. Permits are required to visit Tibet as well as many remote areas not normally open to foreigners.

Travelers should note that international flights departing China are routinely overbooked, making reconfirmation of departure reservations and early airport check-in essential. Passengers must pay a RMB 90 airport user fee (approximately $12 US) when departing China on international flights and RMB 50 airport fee (approximately US $7.20) for all domestic flights.

Foreign citizens who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their Chinese visas will be subject to fines and departure delays and may be subject to detention. Please view the tips on how to extend the validation of China visas in China.

In addition to the requirements above, long-term visitors to China may be required to provide evidence of an AIDS test.

Foreign citizens who plan to work in China must obtain a work visa before they begin working. There have recently been a number of cases where foreign citizens who entered on a tourist visa were found to be working without the required visa and consequently asked to depart China after paying a fine. In some cases, employers have asked the foreign citizens to begin working while promising to obtain the work visa. However, in principle, applying for a change of visa while already working is considered a violation of the law.

For information about entry requirements and restricted areas, travelers may consult the Embassy of the People's Republic of China (PRC). For a list of services and frequently asked visa questions and answers, travelers can view the Chinese Embassy's web sites at www.china-embassy.org, or visa@china-embassy.org. Please see addresses list at the end of the page on China Embassies and Visas.

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