The gift that China’s President Xi Jinping‘s seems to bring with him on every state visit lately is improved visitor visa regulations for both People’s Republic of China passport holders to that country, and sometimes for visitors from that nation to China.
The United Kingdom (UK) is no exception, and a new visa policy between the two countries was announced October 21. "From January, new visitor visas for tourists from the People’s Republic of China will be valid in the UK for two years – four times the usual six-month limit for a standard visitor visa – bringing significant benefits to the UK economy, Prime Minister David Cameron announced today. He also announced his intention to go further with plans for a new 10-year, multi-entry visa for Chinese tourists at no extra cost," the UK government announced via its website. For people affected by this change, read the entire announcement here, there is a lot of information about new visa application centers and more.
Air China has used this week to announce or remind the public about a whole bunch of new direct routes. There’s Beijing-Islamabad-Karachi in Pakistan, beginning October 26, three times per week; there’s Beijing-Newark service, which was previously announced, also starting October 26, four times per week, and in direct competition with fellow Star Alliance member United Airlines‘ flights between the two cities, although United flies daily; Beijing-Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, four times per week; and Beijing-Colombo, Sri Lanka, commencing October 27, three times per week. Must be a cool time to be a member of Air China’s international flight crews.
Finally, Indonesia is implementing strict new visitor visa rules beginning January 1, to crack down on people misusing those visas in order to gain employment. Specifically, "according to new rules, foreigners’ visas will be rejected in case if during the past 12 months the visitor has had two visas on arrival (paid or free) or a social/tourist visa B211." First-time travelers need not worry, but if you just bought a timeshare in Bali, or plan to spend every holiday there, you may need to look into a different kind of tourist or retirement visa.
Quite a bit for this week. ‘Til Tuesday, one road flat safe.
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com on October 23, 2015