China Welcomes Over 1.98 Million Visa-Free Visitors in Q1

By Billy Jiang, April 23, 2024

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Have you noticed an increase in international tourists around you lately? 

According to data released by the National Immigration Administration, in the first quarter of 2024, a total of 59.115 million residents from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan entered the Chinese mainland, along with 13.074 million foreign nationals.

China issued visas to 466,000 foreign nationals, a significant increase of 118.8% compared to the same period last year. 

Additionally, over 1.988 million foreign nationals entered China visa-free, representing a remarkable surge of 266.1%.

This increase in visa-free entries can be attributed to various policies implemented by China to facilitate tourism and business exchanges. 

Since July 26, 2023, China has restored the 15-day visa-free entry policy for citizens of Singapore and Brunei holding ordinary passports for purposes such as business, tourism, family visits, and transit. 

Subsequently, on December 1, 2023, and March 14, 2024, China unilaterally implemented visa-free policies for citizens holding ordinary passports from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

Moreover, the visa exemption agreement between China and Thailand officially came into effect on March 1, 2024. 

As a result, a total of 989,000 foreign nationals from these 15 countries have entered China visa-free, accounting for more than 60% of the total number of visitors from these countries, indicating an overall upward trend.

READ MORE: China Visa-Free Entry Countries – The Full List!

Furthermore, on February 9, 2024, the National Immigration Administration announced the expansion of the list of countries whose citizens can enjoy visa-free entry to Hainan for various purposes, including tourism, business, family visits, medical treatment, exhibitions, and sports events, for up to 30 days. 

Within two months of implementing this policy, 49,000 foreign nationals have entered Hainan visa-free.

Read More: China Visa-Free Entry to Hainan – The Full List!

However, the data also reveals that in the first quarter of 2024, China cracked down on illegal entry, residence, and employment of foreign nationals, with 23,000 individuals being apprehended. 

Among them, 4,551 individuals were deported in accordance with the law.

With the upcoming May Day holiday, we can expect even more international travelers to enter China. 

According to data released on April 16 by Ctrip ( for those of you living outside of China), one of China's largest online travel agencies, inbound tourist bookings have surged by an impressive 130% compared to the same period last year.

READ MORE: Travel Gossip: Inbound Travel Booking Surges by 130% for May Day

Have you recently experienced visa-free entry to China? Feel free to share your experiences with us. 

For more information on tourism in China, follow our official WeChat account, ThatsGBA.

[Cover image by Billy Jiang/That's]

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