China Visa-Free Entry from December 1, 2023, to November 30, 2024: See Country List

Posted by Written by Giulia Interesse Reading Time: 3 minutes

China has announced a unilateral 15-day visa-free entry policy for holders of ordinary passports from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia, during the period from December 1, 2023, to November 30, 2024.

In a significant move toward global integration, China has announced a visa-free entry policy for citizens of five European nations and Malaysia.

According to the official announcement on the website of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China will grant unilateral visa-free travel for holders of ordinary passports from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia, during the period from December 1, 2023, to November 30, 2024.

Holders of ordinary passports from the above countries may enter China visa-free for business, tourism, visiting relatives and friends, and transit for no more than 15 days.

Those who do not meet the visa exemption requirements from the above countries still need to obtain a visa to China before entering the country.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry unveiled the decision, emphasizing its commitment to fostering cross-border exchanges and promoting high-quality development in services related to the movement of people.

What is the significance of this decision?

The timing of the visa-free announcement is noteworthy, as it precedes the meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his French counterpart. The two officials are set to convene in Beijing for a two-day visit aimed at improving relations, particularly following a European anti-subsidy probe into Chinese electric vehicles that heightened trade tensions.

Furthermore, with the EU-China Summit scheduled for early December, the visa-free access is anticipated to facilitate travel for foreign investors from European countries. This move aligns with China’s broader strategy to attract foreign investment and strengthen economic ties.

Overall, the move comes as part of China’s broader efforts to open up its borders and encourage people-to-people exchanges. In the face of an economic slowdown and a decrease in foreign investment, the Chinese government aims to attract international visitors and investors by simplifying entry procedures.

Notably, there was no mention of reciprocal arrangements for Chinese citizens visiting the six countries. (Currently, all six nations require some form of a visa from Chinese travelers.) The unilateral lifting of visa requirements underscores China’s commitment to facilitating global travel and engagement.

Mao Ning, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, stated that the visa easing is intended to contribute to the high-level opening up of China to the outside world. This move follows previous initiatives by the Chinese government, including a comprehensive plan introduced in August to address concerns about doing business in the country. The plan included promises of better tax treatment and simplified visa procedures for overseas firms.

What you need to know about China’s new visa-free policy

Who is eligible for this policy?

Citizens holding an ordinary passport from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, or Malaysia are eligible to benefit from this visa-free travel policy.

How long can you stay in China visa-free?

Eligible travelers can enjoy a visa-free stay of up to 15 days per entry. Currently, information about the frequency of utilizing this policy within a specific timeframe is not available.

What if you want to extend your stay beyond 15 days?

For visits requiring a stay longer than 15 days, it is advisable to apply for regular visas. Alternatively, you can exit China on the 15th day and return for another 15-day stay.

Where can you go in China visa-free?

The policy covers the entire territory of Mainland China, excluding Tibet and Xinjiang, which require special permits applicable only to tour groups.

How can you enter China visa-free?

Entry is allowed through any port, including airports, railway stations, and land borders. A valid passport, a confirmed onward ticket to a third country or region, and a valid visa for that destination if required are the only prerequisites. No online registration or itinerary submission is necessary at the moment, and the exact procedures post-December 1st are yet to be disclosed.

What are the advantages of this policy?

This policy presents a fantastic opportunity for convenient, flexible, and cost-effective travel to China. It saves time and money by bypassing the visa application process, allowing for spontaneous trip planning and increased freedom, especially beneficial for business travelers.

For more detailed information on the latest visa updates, please read our China Briefing articles:

About Us

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done so since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at

Dezan Shira & Associates has offices in Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, United States, Germany, Italy, India, Dubai (UAE), and Russia, in addition to our trade research facilities along the Belt & Road Initiative. We also have partner firms assisting foreign investors in The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh.