China stops transit visa exemption for S. Korean, Japanese nationals

BEIJING– China has suspended its transit visa exemption for South Korean and Japanese citizens, according to its immigration office Wednesday, in yet another retaliatory step against the countries’ entry restrictions on arrivals from China aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

It said Beijing has introduced the measure in response to the neighbors’ “discriminatory” entry regulations against China.

Foreign nationals who receive transit visas are allowed to stay in a city for 72 or 144 hours, depending on the city, while transiting through China. The visas need to be applied for in advance.

The move came a day after Beijing announced measures to halt the issuance of short-term visas for business, tourism, medical treatment and general private affairs.

The immigration office also said it is suspending the issuance of visas on arrival to South Korean and Japanese nationals.

Such visas are issued at points of entry when a person is traveling for urgent reasons.

The measure will take effect immediately, it said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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