China Reopening to Canadian Travellers (The World Is Open!)

In what feels like the much-anticipated end of a long era of pandemic-related travel restrictions, Mainland China will be reopening to the world once and for all.

Effective March 14, 2023, China will resume accepting applications for and issuing all types of visas, and any visas issued prior to March 28, 2020 that haven’t expired will be considered valid.

Since China ended quarantine for international arrivals in January 2023, this signals a full reopening to international tourists, which is welcome news for anyone who has been patiently waiting to enter China for the past three years.

China Resumes Visa Applications and Issuance

As of 12pm Eastern Daylight Time on March 14, 2023, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada will resume accepting visa applications for all categories, including tourism. Additionally, any visas issued prior to March 28, 2020 that haven’t expired will be considered valid, marking an end to their almost three-year suspension.

The announcement also notes that visa-free entry will resume for Hainan and Shanghai Port, and foreign tour groups entering Mainland China via Guangdong from Hong Kong or Macao will also enjoy visa-free access.

Up until this point, China has been gradually loosening its pandemic restrictions, with the most recent development being an end to quarantine upon arrival for some inbound passengers in January 2023. However, the end of quarantine didn’t mean a reopening to the world, since tourist visas still weren’t being issued, until now.

For the past three months, only travellers headed to China for the purposes of work, business, study, or visiting family could benefit from the relaxed travel restrictions. While this was certainly one step closer to welcoming the world again, it still left out large swaths of would-be travellers, who will now be able to enter the country for purposes of tourism with a valid visa.

It appears that testing requirements remain for the time being, with only a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure required, and no testing upon arrival. There haven’t been any announcements about this changing, but be sure to check official sources for the most up-to-date information about testing requirements. 

The Shanghai EDITION

China Opening Once Again to International Tourism

Over the past few months, China has been gradually been undoing many of the long-held internal and external pandemic-related restrictions. After mass protests sprung up late last year in favour of ending lockdowns and returning to normal life, COVID-19 cases skyrocketed across the country.

As with all countries who were hit with the Omicron variant, China inevitably underwent a period of very high case counts before things eventually began to settle down. This paved the way for loosened border restrictions for some inbound travellers in early 2023, and also signaled an eventual end to to its internal COVID-tracking application.

At the same time, China’s abolition of the quarantine requirement in January 2023 also meant that China’s hundreds of millions of outbound tourists – who had largely been confined to domestic travel for almost three years – were able to travel internationally once again without having to undergo quarantine upon returning home.

Mutianyu Great Wall

With today’s announcement that China is once again ready to welcome tourists, one of the last remaining countries to remain closed to tourism has joined most of the world in moving forward past the pandemic.

This inevitably means that flight schedules for China will begin to resume as airlines prepare to meet what will likely be incredible demand.


China has begun accepting applications for all categories of visas once again, including for tourism. This marks a huge step for the country, which was one of the last nations to hold out on tourism following the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of March 14, 2023, inbound travellers to China can once again apply for visas, and any visas issued prior to March 28, 2020 that remain valid will be accepted for entry.

A negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure is the only remaining requirement for those entering the country, with no testing upon arrival or other pandemic-related requirements. As always, be sure to check official sources for up-to-date requirements, as they are subject to change at any time.

This is a huge milestone for a country that was essentially shuttered to the rest of the world for nearly three years, and is welcome news for anyone who has been waiting patiently to travel to China.