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China resumes issuing visas and reopens to Filipino travelers.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila said on Saturday that China has formally reopened to international tourists, including Filipinos. China has also resumed accepting applications for all types of visas.

Huang Xilian, the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, wrote on Facebook, “The long wait is over as China finally resumes granting all types of visas for foreigners, including the tourism visa, port visa, and other visa-exemption policies starting from March 15, 2023.

According to Huang, candidates can submit a visa application online at https://cova.mfa.gov.cn.

He advised interested tourists to get specific requirements and procedures from the Chinese Embassies in Manila and Cebu, Laoag, and Davao.

In the meantime, China will restart its visa-exemption policies for Hainan, Shanghai cruises, foreign visitors to Guangdong from Hong Kong and Macau, and ASEAN tour groups to Guilin and Guangxi.

Three years after the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) epidemic occurred and the nation implemented one of the strictest lockdowns in history, China fully reopened to leisure travelers.

It also let Chinese nationals go abroad in groups to more than a dozen nations, including the Philippines, last month, which raised expectations for the pandemic-affected tourism industry.

According to Jaime FlorCruz, the Philippine ambassador to China, the majority of people applying for visas are tourists, business people, and students.

“(P)ara sa amin, malaking pressure, as I am now in the process of applying for a visa. However, there is additional strain on us because we lack employees to process the visas, but we are making every effort to speed up the process, he stated in a recent interview with the China Radio International-China Media Group.

“Obviously, iyong mga hindi magagandang may pakay sa atin ayaw naming makalusot. But, since we don’t want those with ulterior motives to enter the nation, we must be meticulous in our visa approval process. We do our best to expedite the visa acceptance process, nonetheless, provided that the visit’s purpose is valid.

Prior to the epidemic, China accounted for 1.7 million of the country’s visitors, ranking second overall.

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