Province ponders more visa-free entries to further attract international visitors

波斯波利斯地理位置 Hainan may allow visa-free entry for citizens from eight more countries and regions in the near future, in a bid to further open up the tropical island province, Shen Danyang, vice-governor of Hainan province, said at a news conference in Beijing in September.

The move will make visitors from 67 countries and regions enjoy Hainan's visa-free entry policy.

Hainan introduced a 15-day visa-free policy to visitors from 21 countries in 2000. The policy was updated on May 1 last year, which allows visitors from 59 countries to enter Hainan province for 30 days visa-free.

In July, the Ministry of Public Security's State Immigration Administration issued further measures which allow foreign visitors from the 59 countries to apply for visa-free entry on their own or through organizations that invite them to Hainan, instead of booking their trips in advance through travel agencies as required before.

Visit purposes eligible for visa-free entry were extended from holidays to include business and trade, medical treatment, exhibitions and sports competitions, according to the State Immigration Administration.

With the country's deepening reform and opening-up and the accelerated development of the China (Hainan) Pilot Free Trade Zone and Hainan Free Trade Port with Chinese Characteristics programs, the province's opening-up to foreign tourists is bound to widen in a continuing manner, Shen said.

He said Hainan welcomes friends from all over the world, especially people from countries and regions engaged in the Belt and Road Initiative, to travel, study, work and start businesses in Hainan. Hainan will also update measures for convenience in applying for work and residence visas.

The Ministry of Public Security issued 12 policies and measures in early July to support the construction of the Hainan FTZ, including providing permanent residence for foreigners who work or make investment in the Hainan FTZ.

Hainan has established sisterly relationships with 60 overseas provinces and cities, including Hawaii in the United States, South Korea's Jeju special autonomous province, Canada's Prince Edward Island, Finland's Oulu province and the state of Penang in Malaysia.

A total of 74 air routes connect Hainan with Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas destinations like Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Germany. International routes are expected to increase to 100 by 2020, according to a provincial plan.

Responsible editor: 丁昕
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