China is set to reinstate its 15-day visa-free entry for citizens of Singapore and Brunei from July 26, as confirmed by the respective embassies of both countries. This comes after a three-year suspension of visas due to China’s stringent travel restrictions imposed under its zero-Covid policy, which concluded in December last year.
Under the revived policy, Singaporean citizens can enter China without the need for a visa for a 15-day period, applicable for purposes such as business, tourism, family visits, and transit, as stated by the Chinese embassy in Singapore. Valid visas previously issued to Singaporean citizens will still be honored, and pending visa applications will be duly processed.
The restoration of visa-free access signifies a positive development for the bilateral relations between China, Singapore, and Brunei, especially considering the strong economic ties shared by these countries. High-level meetings between leaders from Singapore and China earlier this year further underscore the significance of their cooperation.
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the news in a Facebook post, expressing confidence that the policy would enhance the exchange of people and businesses between the nations, ultimately fostering deeper bilateral cooperation.
This development has been met with enthusiasm from citizens like Wang Guoliang, a 54-year-old Singaporean with family in China, who expressed delight at the convenience of future travel arrangements. The visa exemption for travelers visiting China for less than 30 days is already applicable to several other countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Maldives, and Fiji.
While airline stocks showed a muted response to the weekend announcement, it is expected that the resumption of visa-free access will likely boost travel demand between China and the two Southeast Asian nations.
In a parallel announcement, the Chinese Embassy in Brunei Darussalam also revealed that Bruneian citizens with ordinary passports will enjoy the same visa-free access to China for business, sightseeing, family visits, and transit starting July 26.