Entry and Visa Application Restrictions Due to the Coronavirus

Many countries have established restrictions on entry and/or visa and permit applications to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus via travelers from China. The measures imposed by some key destinations are as follows:

Australia

All travelers of any nationality arriving from any part of mainland China will be subject to enhanced border control measures. Further, anyone who has left or transited mainland China on or after February 1, 2020 will be denied entry, except for Australian citizens and permanent residents and their immediate family members. Airline and maritime crew members may also be exempt, provided they have taken appropriate precautionary steps. These measures will apply to those seeking to enter or transit through Australia. 

China, Mainland

All ports are operational except for the departure channel at Wuhan port and all travelers may enter or exit per regular practice. 

Most Chinese immigration offices have resumed operations, with the Wuhan offices expected to re-open on February 14, 2020. Foreign nationals whose documents expired and could not be renewed due to immigration office closures will be exempt from penalties or subject to lighter penalties. Private businesses in Hubei Province must remain closed until February 14, 2020. Most private businesses in other provinces have reopened as of February 10. The Public Security Bureaus in Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hefei and Tianjing are only offering limited services. 

Foreign nationals entering China for work are advised to enter with a Z (work) visa after obtaining a work permit notification letter instead of entering on a business or tourist visa and attempting to obtain the letter in China thereafter. Z visa holders who do not enter China before their Z visa expires because of the coronavirus may enter with a different visa and an explanatory letter from the employer in China. 

The Shanghai, Zhejiang and Guangzhou Expert Bureaus are allowing applicants to apply online instead of appearing at the Bureaus in person. The Beijing and Shenzhen Expert Bureaus are allowing applicants for work permit extension, de-registration and transfer to apply online instead of appearing at the Bureaus in person. Original paper files must be kept in the event the documents need to be verified later and employers and employees must attest to the authenticity of the online application. 

China is not issuing business visa endorsements for Hong Kong SAR.

Czech Republic

The Czech Embassy and Czech Visa Application Centers in China have stopped accepting visa and permanent residence applications until further notice. Those planning to apply for a Czech visa in China are advised to check the website of the Czech Embassy in China for updates.

Hong Kong

All foreign nationals and Hong Kong residents entering Hong Kong from Mainland China, as well as those entering from other locations who were in Mainland China in the 14 days before entering, will be placed under quarantine for 14 days, with limited exceptions. 

All Hubei Province residents and visitors are banned from entering. All travelers entering from Mainland China who have a permit or visa valid for less than 14 days are also banned from entering. 

Only the Shenzhen Bay, Hong Kong-Zhui Hai Macau Bridge and Hong Kong International Airport immigration control points between Mainland China and Hong Kong remain open. 

Rail and ferry service between Hong Kong and Mainland China is not operating and cross-border buses and flights to and from Mainland China are operating less frequently than usual. 

The Chinese government has stopped issuing travel permits for tourists traveling from Mainland China to Hong Kong. Business visits, work trips, and visits to family members are not impacted.

Through February 23, 2020, the Immigration Department will provide only minimal services.

India

Travelers who were in Mainland China on or after January 15, 2020 are ineligible to enter India. Indian nationals and residents who were in Mainland China on or after January 15 will be quarantined upon entry. 

Chinese passport holders and foreign nationals living in Mainland China may not enter India with a regular visa or e-visa.  

The existing visas of Mainland Chinese nationals, or other foreign nationals who were in China before February 5, 2020, are deemed invalid. This does not apply to holders of Overseas Citizenship of India cards. 

Applicants for regular visas that reside in Mainland China are no longer able to use online systems to complete their applications.

Indonesia

Note: The practice of immigration officials may differ from the official policies stated below.

Limited Stay Permit (ITAS) holders of any nationality who have been in Mainland China in the 14 days before their intended re-entry will be refused entry. The entry ban may be extended to all Chinese national ITAS holders who have travelled outside of Indonesia.

All foreign nationals who have been in Mainland China in the 14 days before their intended entry will be ineligible to use a visa-on-arrival, visa exemption, visit visa or Limited Stay visa. A ban on the use of these travel categories/documents may also apply to all Mainland Chinese passport holders, even if they have not recently been in China. 

RPTKA and work authorization applications for Chinese passport holders may be denied.

Flights between China and Indonesia are not operating.

Israel

All travelers except Israeli residents who have been in Mainland China in the 14 days before February 2, 2020 may be denied entry to Israel. Border officers will use their discretion to admit or deny entry to travelers. 

Japan

Chinese nationals whose passports were issued in Hubei Province and foreign nationals who have been in Hubei Province within 14 days of February 1, 2020 are inadmissible to Japan.

Holders of temporary visitor visas who are from Hubei Province and are temporarily unable to return there may be able to extend their visas in Japan for up to 30 days.

Chinese nationals whose passports were issued in Zhejiang Province and foreign nationals who have been in Zhejiang Province within 14 days of February 13, 2020 are inadmissible to Japan.

Malaysia

West Malaysia

  • A hold will be placed on all entry visas issued in Wuhan, Hubei Province, Zhejiang Province and Jiangsu Province–such visas cannot be used until further notice. 
  • A hold will also be placed on all new immigration applications (e.g., work passes, dependant passes) for holders of Chinese passports issued in Wuhan, Hubei Province, Zhejiang Province and Jiangsu province and for all foreign nationals who have been in these provinces in the past 14 days. The hold does not apply to renewal applications, which will be processed as usual.
  • An entry ban applies to nationals of any country traveling directly from the above-named provinces except for holders of work passes, dependant passes, and long-term social visit passes, who are allowed to enter but must self-quarantine for 14 days after entry.

East Malaysia

  • An entry ban applies to all Chinese nationals (from any province) and any other foreign nationals who have visited China in the past 14-days except for holders of work passes, dependant passes, and long-term social visit passes, who are allowed to enter but must self-quarantine for 14 days after entry. The entry ban includes transit from Kuala Lumpur if the flight originated in China.
  • It is currently not clear if the State Immigration Departments are accepting or processing new or renewal immigration applications (e.g., work passes, dependant passes) from Chinese nationals or other foreign nationals who have recently been in Mainland China.

New Zealand

Non-citizen or resident travelers who have been in Mainland China on or after February 2, 2020 are banned from transiting through or entering New Zealand. 

New Zealand nationals and foreign nationals that reside in New Zealand that have been in Mainland China on or after February 2, 2020 must self-isolate for 14 days after their re-entry to New Zealand. 

Philippines 

Travelers of any nationality, except Filipino citizens and Philippine Permanent Resident Visa holders, who are arriving directly from China (including Taiwan) or its Special Administrative Regions (SAR) (Hong Kong and Macao) or who have been in China (including Taiwan) or its SAR in the last 14 days before arrival, are temporarily ineligible to enter the Philippines. 

Filipinos and Permanent Resident Visa holders arriving from any location in China (including Taiwan) or its SAR will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine after arrival in the Philippines. The government will create a repatriation and quarantine center to facilitate the return of foreign nationals to their home countries, where required, and the quarantine of Filipinos and Permanent Resident Visa holders arriving from China. 

Filipinos are temporarily banned from traveling to China (including Taiwan) and its SAR except for 1) members of government delegations conducting official duties; 2) members of the World Health Organization; and 3) members of other agencies involved in containing the spread of the coronavirus.

Russia

Chinese nationals are temporarily ineligible for e-visas, visa-free entry and work permits. Russian consulates in China are not issuing regular visas. Mainland Chinese nationals are not currently eligible for services related to Russian work permits such as collecting, renewing or correcting work permits. They are also ineligible to obtain tourist documents or invitation letters.

Several border crossings between China and Russia are currently closed. 

Permanent residents of Russia returning to Russia from Mainland China will be quarantined for up to 14 days. 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian nationals and foreign national residents re-entering from Mainland China will be denied entry.

Singapore

See Pearl’s immigration alerts for the latest updates.

South Korea

Foreign nationals who have lived in or otherwise been in Hubei Province within 14 days of arrival may not enter South Korea.

Taiwan

Effective February 7, 2020, foreign nationals (except holders of a valid Taiwan Resident Certificate (ARC)) who have lived in or otherwise been in China in the 14 days before they arrive in Taiwan are banned from entering Taiwan. This includes those who normally qualify for visa-waived entry and those with valid entry documents. Foreign nationals who hold a valid ARC and who have lived in or otherwise been in China in the 14 days before arrival are admissible but must isolate themselves in their homes and be attentive to their health for 14 days after returning to Taiwan.

Foreign nationals who have lived in or otherwise been in China in the past 14 days are ineligible to apply for visas. Those that qualify to apply for a visa must now provide supplemental documentation, as follows: 

  • A full travel history for the previous 14 days proving that the applicant has not been in China during this time;
  • A medical certificate from a medical checkup completed in the previous seven days evidencing that the applicant does not have a fever of 38 degrees celsius or higher or any respiratory tract or lung infections; and
  • A signed affidavit confirming that the applicant will notify the Taiwanese health authorities right away if he/she develops any of the symptoms listed above. 

United States

See Pearl’s immigration alerts for the latest updates.

Vietnam

All foreign national travelers who have been in mainland China or other areas impacted by the coronavirus in the last 14 days are banned from entering. This includes those that hold a Vietnamese work visa and those that have only transited through China.

The Department of Labour will no longer accept work permit applications for foreign nationals who have been in China or other impacted areas (including transiting through).

The Immigration Department has suspended all visas issued to PRC passport holders and will not issue any new visas to PRC passport holders.

All measures are in place until further notice.