China’s US Embassy to Accept Non-Chinese Vaccine Records: Will This Impact China’s Entry Policy?

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By Monica Li, Dezan Shira & Associates’ Beijing Office

On April 21, 2021, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America published the Notice on the Testing Requirements for China-Bound Passengers Departing from Dallas after Inoculated with COVID-19 Vaccines (the Notice). According to the Notice, China will accept vaccination records in travel applications from people who have been inoculated in the US with COVID-19 vaccines made by US vaccine producers.

In this article, we try to provide clarity around how the Notice will impact China’s entry policy by China-bound passengers from the US.

China’s requirements on China-bound passengers’ nucleic acid and antibody blood test results have been adjusted several times as the epidemic prevention and control situation keeps developing in the US.

With the publishing of the said Notice, China-bound passengers can be divided into two groups: uninoculated passengers and inoculated passengers, who are subject to different testing requirements.

Group 1: Uninoculated passengers

For uninoculated passengers, among other criteria, the testing requirements for entering China are as follows:

  • Nucleic acid test result: Negative
  • IgM antibody test result: Negative

After obtaining the test results, non-Chinese passengers need to obtain a QR code with an “HDC” mark via the website: https://hrhk.cs.mfa.gov.cn/H5/. For Chinese passengers, they will need to obtain a green health code with the “HS” mark via the WeChat Health Code app.

Group 2: Inoculated passengers

According to the vaccine type, the inoculated passengers can be further divided into two sub-groups: passengers inoculated with inactivated vaccine and passengers inoculated with the non-inactivated vaccine.

For passengers inoculated with the inactivated vaccine (including China-made vaccines), the testing requirements are as follows:

  • Nucleic acid test result: Negative
  • IgM antibody test result: Positive

Similarly, after obtaining the test results, non-Chinese passengers need to obtain a QR code with an “HDC” mark via the website: https://hrhk.cs.mfa.gov.cn/H5/. For Chinese passengers, they will need to obtain a green health code with the “HS” mark via the WeChat Health Code app. They will need to upload the Letter of Commitment on COVID-19 Vaccination and the vaccination certificate, together with the test reports

For passengers inoculated with the non-inactivated vaccine (mainly refer to Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson produced vaccines), the testing requirements are:

  • Nucleic acid test result: Negative
  • IgM antibody test result: Positive (IgM antibody test against N protein result will be additionally required here)

After obtaining the test results, non-Chinese passengers need to obtain a QR code with an “HDC” mark via the website: https://hrhk.cs.mfa.gov.cn/H5/ and Chinese passengers need to obtain a green health code with the “HS” mark via the WeChat Health Code app.

They will need to submit the Letter of Commitment on COVID-19 Vaccination, the vaccination certificate (with all required doses administered), and the test reports (especially the IgM antibody test against N protein result).

Frequently asked questions

Based on the above information, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions:

Q1: Does the Notice change China’s current entry policy?

A1: No, it does not. The entry policy still requires passengers to follow the rules/procedures as summarized and posted by us here: How Can Foreigners Enter China Under the COVID-19 Travel Restrictions?, that is, only those who satisfy visa requirements can enter China.

One may think that the Notice tells how US-vaccinated passengers can be granted a visa and enter China. However, this is a misunderstanding. The Notice actually only clarifies the testing requirement of those inoculated with US vaccines. It doesn’t mean the visa facilitation will be applied to them.

Q2: Can those passengers who have been inoculated with Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J produced vaccines enjoy the visa facilitation as those inoculated with China-made vaccines? 

A2: No, apply to those who have been inoculated with China-made vaccines only.

Q3: From which cities in the United States can passengers fly directly to China?

A3: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Detroit, and Dallas.

Q4: Will quarantine policies still be compulsory upon entering China after inoculated with the listed vaccines in the Notice?

A4:Yes, getting inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines does not exempt the passenger from observing quarantine or any other epidemic prevention and control obligations of China.

Dezan Shira & Associates are devoted to providing China Briefing readers with the most updated and correct interpretation of the entry policies of China. If there is any confusion, please kindly turn to us for further discussion.

Note: This article only applies to China-bound passengers from the United States of America. Should readers from other countries/regions have interests to know more details about the policies applicable to their own countries/regions, kindly let us know separately china@dezshira.com.


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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 china@dezshira.com

Dezan Shira & Associates has offices in Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, United States, Germany, Italy, India, 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, MalaysiaThailand, Bangladesh.