China releases details on visa-free travel for Taiwanese citizens

25 Jun 15

CHINA, TAIWAN

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Further details on visa-free travel for citizens of Taiwan traveling to China have been released by Public Security Bureau officers in verbal confirmations and in public statements to the media.

What does the change mean? Taiwanese citizens will be able to enter mainland China with only a valid Tai Bao Zheng or, if they do not have a Tai Bao Zheng, they may obtain a temporary travel certificate upon arrival. Shanghai and Beijing have already stopped requiring Taiwanese travelers to obtain travel and residence endorsements. The Tai Bao Zheng is also expected to be replaced by an E-travel pass in the coming year.

  • Implementation time frame: Shanghai and Beijing began removing travel and residence endorsements June 23. Other changes take effect July 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Travel endorsements, Tai Bao Zheng.
  • Who is affected: Taiwanese citizens.
  • Impact on processing times: The changes should reduce processing, as travelers will no longer need to obtain a travel endorsement for each entry.
  • Business impact: The changes will reduce costs and add convenience for Taiwanese travelers.

Background: As BAL reported last week, China’s State Council announced changes that would remove current visa requirements, known as travel endorsements, for Taiwanese residents holding valid Tai Bao Zheng. Additional details from the Public Security Bureau confirm that Taiwanese citizens who do not have a Tai Bao Zheng will be able to obtain a single-entry, temporary travel certificate upon arrival.

China also plans to replace the Tai Bao Zheng booklets with a travel pass, but this proposal may face some opposition from Taiwan as the pass is similar to travel cards held by Macau and Hong Kong residents and may be seen as a move toward placing residents of Taiwan under the territorial jurisdiction of China.

BAL Analysis: The changes represent significant easing of travel requirements for cross-strait movement. However, a work permit is still required for employment and work activities.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in China. For additional information, please contact china@balglobal.com.

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