15 days visa-free travel for some

Starting Dec. 1, citizens of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia will be allowed to enter China for up to 15 days without a visa. The trial program will be in effect for one year.

YES, that’s nice!


This really is ground-breaking news! I hope that more of my family and friends will be motivated to come visit me in China now as the whole visa-process was a pain.

I might actually use it in January. I need to find out if I can use this option twice, back to back. Like after 15 days spend a day in Kinmen/Taiway, then take a ferry and go back to mainland for another 15 days.

Amazing news!! So happy to hear this :smiley:

This is great news, but as one of the teachers pointed out, regular tourists who are unaware of the current circumstances face two obstacles:

  1. They need to have a VPN installed on their mobile device or laptop before they arrive in China; otherwise, they won’t be able to communicate with their families and friends at home through social media.

  2. The majority of establishments do not accept foreign credit cards and lack sufficient change for cash transactions.

These two problems should be addressed before inviting a significant influx of tourists into the country.

At least the credit card problem kinda got solved as it is possible now to link a foreign credit card to an Alipay and WeChat account. I mean… one always has to be prepared before visiting any country to consider specific circumstances and the need for a installing a VPN in China has been there for years…

Can you keep us updated once you have more info on the visa run? I will have friends visiting next year that were thinking about a visa run through Shenzhen / Hong Kong.

Yea the credit card thing is actually easier now than before I’d say.

Whilst it’s still not a cakewalk, if you know the situation and do your due diligence, you’ll be fine.

I also think the same with a VPN. I know a lot of people who have VPN’s now for other reasons aside from travel. If tourists do their research before, which I’m sure most do these days, this is easily avoidable.

So, the embassy in Berlin was not very responsive, although I did get one email answered, telling me to use another email address for visa / travel related questions. Phones either ring forever, are busy forever, or the phone numbers as posted on the official embassy site do not exist. Luckily though, I called the embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, and they answered swiftly.

Good news: There is no limit to how often you can enter (Mainland) China on a 15-day basis, as offered to citizens of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia. I will probably hit the ferry on day 14 or 15 of my trip, visit the arch enemy - oups - brothers and sisters in the Kinmen island outpost of Taiwan, then come back a day or two later. I did not ask whether re-entering the same calendar day would be possible.

Oh wow, you put in a lot of effort. That’s great news, thank you so much for sharing ^^
The ferry to Taiwan also sounds interesting, will keep it in mind for our future travel plans ~

Nice idea, the common locations to reset the visa are Hong Kong and Taiwan given the location, but it also depends where in China you are.

If you’re in Shenzhen or Guangdong then of course Hong Kong is the easy option. From Shanghai go to Taiwan.

If you go north or towards Beijing, I’d highly recommend Seoul. It’s only a 90 minute flight and is a super city for anyone who hasn’t been. Likewise Tokyo, albeit a tad further.

This is awesome news! Really hoping they expand the trial to Brits too :wink:

1 Like

Fingers crossed! It makes traveling to China really way easier

Here is a first update on my endeavour to use China’s visa waiver (hopefully) twice:

  1. When checking in for my Lufthansa flight to Shanghai in Berlin I had to produce evidence that I woukd leave China within 15 days for the visa waiver. My explanation that I was planning to leave by ferry and ticket were unavailable in advance did not suffice, so I had to book an €47 flight Shanghai to Taipei, which I am not going to use. It did not come to my mind that maybe a train ticket Shenzhen to Hongkong might be enough.

  2. Didi from Downtown Quanzhou to the ferry port (“泉金客运码头 泉州市南安市”) is RMB 90 plus 20 highway fee. Just under an hour. Ticket office opens at 8am, so there is no point getting here much earlier. One way ticket is RMB 159.

There are currently 3 departures a week from Quanzhou (several per day from Xiamen), Tue/Thu/Sat at 9:20). Timetables are published monthly. Go to
Then click
Then click the latest update (first line), scroll down and download the pdf.

Took me several hours to figure this out, if I had a “buy me a coffee” link I would post it here.

  1. OK, I was about to board, when the boat was cancelled. The staff was super helpful, and organized car pools to Xiamen’s Wotong ferry port (“五通客运码头 厦门市湖里区”), so I only paid 1/3 of the RMB 100, 30 min ride, and the ferry ticket only cost RMB 115. Thus I even saved money.

Great resource for Kinmen Island what-to-do:


Excellent rundown and if we ever cross paths I will certainly buy you a coffee!

Interesting (but I guess knowing China, not surprising) that #1 did not work. I think for anyone travelling south Shenzhen to HK is a great idea because you get to discover a new place, very popular with foreigners and that essentially then gives yo four weeks in China.

Maybe even extend that to six weeks with a trip to Taipei from Shanghai as you also said.

Thanks for sharing.

Such a detailed run down of everything, thank you for taking the time to share your experience. It will certainly be very useful to know all that

The next step was straight forward. This time the ferry company did not bother seeing any proof that I had the right to enter China. At Chinese immigration they wanted to see a ticket leaving China within 15 days. I showed them the booking confirmation on my phone and I was good to go.

I can definitely recommend this way to extend the available travel time for those eligible for visa free entry.

Maybe there will be an LTL school in either Quanzhou or Xiamen soon? I haven’t visited Xiamen (took a flight to icy Nanjing right after the ferry), but Quanzhou is amazingly beautiful, interesting, has great weather in winter, and almost nobody speaks any English beyond “hello”.

Great to know this and a bonus for people who want to extend their stay for a month. I wonder if it’d work multiple times!?

I see also Swiss and Irish citizens now have visa exemptions which is great news :smiley:

Anyone with Indian passport and just crying in a corner? :joy:

One day I will be on these countries list as well haha :saluting_face:

:joy: :rofl: one day…