China has optimized its visa application forms for foreigners traveling to the country in its latest efforts to facilitate people-to-people exchanges between China and foreign countries.
The new version of the forms, which is available starting from Wednesday, requires fewer fields from applicants, thus shortening the time needed to fill in the forms.
"The adjustment involves seven major items and 15 sub-items, which are mainly related to the applicant's educational background, family members' information, past travel experience and others," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a regular news briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.
For example, the applicant now only needs to submit their travel history for a year instead of five years as previously required, Mao said.
In terms of educational background, it only requires the applicant's highest academic qualification, she said. "Applicants can expect a more streamlined visa application process," the spokeswoman said, noting that the simplification is also aimed at promoting China's high-quality development and opening-up endeavor.
Starting from March 15, China fully resumed the issuance of tourist visas, visa exemptions for certain regions and the use of multiple-entry visas issued before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then, China has rolled out a number of facilitation measures to ensure smooth entry for foreigners traveling to China.
In addition, China has signed visa-exemption agreements with Kazakhstan, Madagascar and other countries this year, increasing the total number of mutual visa-exemption agreements to 155.
According to the Foreign Ministry, visa issuance by diplomatic missions has rebounded rapidly and the number of foreigners traveling to China has risen steadily.