Study Abroad: As remaining international travel restrictions are relaxed, China’s borders finally reopen

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China has reopened its border and is once more accepting visa requests. There is a rise in demand for travel and study abroad in China.

At the end of 2022, following many weeks of widespread protest, the Chinese government started to ease up on some of the toughest COVID containment measures. As a result, it has opened its borders to worldwide travel and restarted processing applications for visas and residence permits, including those of international students who will study abroad in the country.

Study Abroad: As remaining international travel restrictions are relaxed, China's borders finally reopen

The long-awaited policy reform is anticipated to increase the number of international students travelling abroad. Still, there are some worries about how China will respond to other nations adopting extra security measures when receiving Chinese tourists.

Global reactions

Governments from all around the world have rushed to respond to China’s reversal of its Zero COVID policies. Naturally, the change and reopening are exciting on the one hand. The government’s “Zero COVID” measures had caused the Chinese economy to stall significantly, the Chinese people had experienced psychological isolation as a result of frequent lockdowns, and most importantly student mobility had been severely restricted while borders were closed.

The most common additional requirement for Chinese travellers is to present documentation of a COVID test result that is negative no later than 48 hours before departure. Many European nations (such as Italy, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Germany), as well as Canada, the United States, Australia, India, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Qatar, South Korea, and Taiwan, insist on this.

Arrivals in China are no longer subject to quarantine

Otherwise, as of the time of this writing, travellers entering China are no longer required to quarantine or submit an application for a health code. However, they must deliver a negative PCR test no later than 48 hours before their trip to China. Additionally, China is currently taking requests for visa extensions, renewals, and reissues for stay permits, residence permits, and reissues of stay permits.

How will this affect the mobility of overseas students?

According to experts, there is a pent-up demand for study abroad in China, especially in light of the nation’s economic slowdown that set in at the end of the Zero Covid era; a difficult economy is always a driving force for outbound mobility. According to CNN, data from Trip.com Group reveals that “search interest for outgoing flights from mainland China jumped by 83% in the 11 days after the [border reopening announcement], compared with the 14 days before it.” Many students and families are ready to travel again.

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