China is to start issuing visas again for students and employees hailing from South Korea, prompting hope that people of other nationalities currently stuck outside the country will soon be welcomed back. No exact date for the resumption of visas services has been announced, but the new allowance is expected to come into force in early August.
Source: kris krüg
On Monday, Jan Ha-sung, the South Korean Ambassador to China, told reporters in Beijing that the Chinese government had agreed to issue visas for South Korean students, long-term employees and those with current residence permits. Koreans with expired residence permits will not be allowed in, although the topic will be tabled for “future discussion”, Jang said.
As a result of the rapid spread of COVID-19 in other countries, China closed its borders to all incoming foreigners on March 28. South Korea will be the first country to be issued with China visas again, and it is hoped it will serve as a catalyst for Beijing to open up to foreigners from more countries.
In May, Beijing and Seoul entered into a fast-track agreement whereby business people traveling between certain regions of the two countries could apply for a special pass that would allow them to serve a shorter quarantine period if COVID test results before and after travel were negative. Since then, the two countries have been in deep discussions about how to facilitate movement further, with the outbreak control measures and strict quarantine requirements of both countries helping negotiations run smoothly.
Around a third of all South Korean residents living in China went home because of the virus and have not been able to return, according to Korea JoonAng Daily. The resumption of visa services is expected to lead to increased flights between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Shanghai has announced that from now on, overseas travelers arriving in the city can pass the second seven days of their quarantine at home as long as they do not test positive for COVID-19, have a permanent Shanghai, Zhejiang, Anhui or Jiangsu address, and they live alone or with others willing to isolate for the reminder of the quarantine.
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Keywords: China to Start Issuing Visas Again
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