Indians set to return to China as embassy updates visa policy

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Indian merchants in Yiwu, Zhejiang province (east China) Photo: VCG

Indian nationals and their accompanying family members are preparing to return to China for work after the Chinese Embassy in India optimized visa policies for those wishing to travel to China to resume work.

The Chinese Embassy in India announced on Monday that it will optimize visa policy during the COVID-19 pandemic from today.

The updated policy applies to foreign nationals and their family members accompanying them to China for the resumption of work in all fields.

It also covers family members of Chinese citizens and foreigners with Chinese permanent residence permits traveling to China for family reunions or to visit relatives, the embassy said, noting that applications visa requirements are temporarily suspended for tourism and other private purposes, the embassy noted.

A COVID-19 vaccination certificate as well as an invitation letter issued by central and state organs, central enterprises, foreign and commercial departments of provincial governments, and foreign departments of municipal governments will be required as mandatory application documents, depending on the embassy.

Charanjeet Singh Arora, an Indian entrepreneur who has a business in China, told the Global Times he was delighted to hear the news and was considering applying for a visa.

“I have lived in India for three years. I wanted to bring my whole family back to China,” a Chinese man named Huang who lives in India and whose husband is an Indian national told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Huang and some of his friends in similar cases should submit their applications.

Many of these Indian nationals are businessmen working in eastern and southern China, namely Guangdong, Zhejiang, Shanghai and some work as technicians in Indian companies, the Global Times has learned.

Chinese observers saw it as a friendly gesture from China towards India. Opening entry to foreign nationals is not an easy decision due to COVID-19 concerns, they said, stressing that careful COVID-19 measures are needed.

Direct flights between China and India have not yet resumed and travel between the two countries requires transfer to a third location.

China Southern Airlines is expected to resume flight CZ3028 from Guangzhou to Delhi on July 12 on a bi-weekly basis, according to Chinese media outlet jemian.com. But sources contacted by the Global Times said the route is still awaiting approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Aviation information provider VariFlight told the Global Times on Wednesday that from June 16 to July 15, there are no commercial flights between China and India.

Indian Professional Visas offer hope for Indian students wishing to resume their studies in China. Sources contacted by the Global Times believe that visa policies for students and Indian citizens in general are likely to be relaxed gradually, but it will still take time.

India’s PTI news agency said some 23,000 Indian students, mostly studying medicine, have been stranded in India since December 2019 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“China and India are on a very different path in the fight against COVID-19. Taking a cautious stance to ease visa entry policies is responsible for both Chinese residents in the country and for Indian nationals,” Hu Zhiyong, a researcher at the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. “Visa policies for students will also be optimized after thoroughly reviewing the COVID-19 situation in a responsible manner,” Hu said.

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said on June 9 that China facilitates the return of foreigners, including foreign students, who must come to China while ensuring that this return is secured by the COVID. We have also updated visa policies and other relevant policies in light of the situation.

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