Thursday, May 23, 2024

Portugal Presses for Inclusion in China’s Visa-Free Travel Scheme – VisaGuide.News

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Portugal has expressed its desire to be part of China’s visa-free travel scheme, with the country communicating its intentions to the Chinese authorities.

The Minister of Economy of Portugal, Pedro Reis, said for Lusa that the government has already signaled to China that it would like to be included in the list of countries whose citizens are permitted entry without the need to obtain a visa, VisaGuide.World reports.

Portugal has signaled this matter, that we would very much like to be included in the group of countries [that are exempted from the visa requirements].

Portugal’s Minister of Economy, Pedro Reis

According to Minister Reis, the inclusion of Portugal in the visa-free scheme would not only have a positive impact on travel and tourism but also on the cooperation between the two countries.

On the other hand, China has not yet announced any further expansion of the list.

Portugal Requested Clarification From China on Visa-Free Policy Exclusion

This is not the first time that Portugal has brought up this matter. Earlier in March, Portugal asked China to clarify its decision not to include it in the scheme.

The Ambassador of Portugal to China, Paulo Jorge Pereira Nascimento, said last month that the Portuguese authorities did not understand the reason why China decided to exclude Portugal from the visa-free entry scheme.

The ambassador further noted that the country does not want to speculate that China wanted to send a message by not including Portugal.

Nonetheless, he stressed that it would be important that Portugal gets informed on the reasons so that the country can work on the matter and consequently get granted visa-free entry to China.

While China has not provided any direct explanation for Portugal’s exclusion, the country has expressed openness to negotiations. However, the issue of visa exemption for Portugal was not explicitly addressed.

China Recently Started Permitting Visa-Free Entry for 11 EU Countries

In a move to help its travel and tourism industry, China just recently dropped the visa requirement for 11 European Union countries.

In December 2023, China lifted the visa requirements for passport holders of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain.

In March 2024, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg were also added to the list.

Nationals of the 11 EU countries mentioned above are eligible for visa-free entry to China for stays of up to 15 days for tourism, visit, business, and transit purposes.

On the other hand, those who plan on staying in China for a longer period need to undergo the visa procedures.

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