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Good and Bad News on China’s Border Re-opening

Let’s start with the positive developments. The American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing reports that they see a positive trend in potentially getting family visas approved in the near future. Th...
2021-10-31 12:00:00

Let’s start with the positive developments. The American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing reports that they see a positive trend in potentially getting family visas approved in the near future. They emphasize that this is not in any way a confirmed news and it’s currently only relevant to Beijing. Here’s what they have to say:

We’ve been hearing from member companies throughout the year that one of their biggest challenges concerns restrictions related to global travel, which is why this issue has been a top priority for AmCham China in 2021. After a year of concerted advocacy efforts on this issue, we are delighted to have finally made a significant breakthrough. Local government authorities in Beijing have informed us that they are now issuing PU letters for the dependent family members of qualified foreign workers, meaning that foreign employees can now be reunited with their loved ones in China, and that new employees can now relocate to China together with their family members. No official announcement has been published, but we understand that applications are now being received, effective immediately.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce Shanghai brings some relevant news specifically for Shanghai saying that Shanghai is now opening to vaccinated family members “where the principal employee is already in Shanghai”.

If this could be an indicator that the strict border closure might loosen up, but it’s not yet time to raise hopes. Even without travel restrictions, the availability of affordable airplane tickets remains a huge issue and might make regular travel impossible. Some flights inbound from Europe are 80,000 RMB – 90,000 RMB a seat for economy class. We shouldn’t be surprised if prices increase even further with the following news: (via Reuters)

China further cut international passenger flights to and from China for the 2022 flight schedule:

China will allow 408 scheduled international passenger flights to and from the country per week in the winter season ending in March next year, down from 644 in the summer season, China's aviation regulator said on Friday. That is down 21.1% from a year ago when international travel remained heavily depressed due to the surging COVID-19 pandemic.

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