How to Return to China - Q&A Session with the Guangzhou Authorities Go back »

2020-07-28 | South China

How to Return to China - Q&A Session with the Guangzhou Authorities

On 28th July, the European Chamber South China Chapter co-organised an online and onsite Q&A seminar on entry policies and visa extension with Guangzhou Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation in Guangzhou.


1.     Who can apply for the fast lane?


Thus far, China has signed fast land agreement with seven countries, namely, South Korea, Germany, UK, France, Switzerland, Italy and Singapore.

Employees from the seven countries will be qualified for the application if they are key members in such business sectors as commerce, logistics, manufacturing and technical services or they are working for major industrial companies and high-tech projects. They can apply for the fast lane after having been granted an Invitation Letter to China and a valid visa.

Employers can apply for the Invitation Letter through the virus control department of the district where the enterprise registered. The application will be handled by the municipal departments and granted by Guangzhou Foreign Affairs Office (FAO).





2.     How to apply for the fast lane?


If an enterprise has a demand to bring back a large number of employees, they can arrange a chartered plane first and then apply for the fast lane to enter China.

They can submit the fast lane application through the virus control department of the district where they are registered. Required documents include chartered plane information (departure date, airline company, passenger number, aircraft model, departure and arrival airports) and a virus control plan jointly formulated by the company and virus control department.




3.     What’s the ‘2+12’ quarantine measure for ‘fast lane’ applicants?


Employees enter through the fast lane should accept the ‘2+12’ quarantine measure. They are required to have a 2-day quarantine for medical observation during which they will take a Nucleic Acid Test for Covid-19. If negative, they will be transferred to home or company. They are permitted to commute between home and work only during the 14 days after entrance. After 14 days, they will have another NAT. If negative, they may return back to normal life in China.

In addition to the fast lane policy, National Civil Aviation Administration also launched a ‘Green Channel’ to facilitate chartered plane applications from the seven fast lane countries and Japan. However, people coming back from countries without the fast lane agreement need to accept a 14-day quarantine at designated hotels after entering China.

通过快捷通道机制包机入境的人员应接受“2+12”隔离措施。入境后需集中隔离医学观察两天,并接受核酸检测。对检测结果阴性的人员由目的地指挥办安排专车将旅客从集中隔离医学观察点接去工作地点或居住点,入境 14 天内只能在居住点和工作点内活动。入境 14 天后进行一次新冠肺炎核酸检测,核酸检测阴性者允许在华正常工作和生活。



4.     Can SMEs apply?


Yes, Guangzhou has released a new document recently which allows more companies to apply for the Invitation Letter to enter China. Small and medium companies can submit their applications through the district virus control department. The district will handle the applications based on the company scale and actual circumstance.

However, only enterprises with chartered plane arrangement can enjoy the fast lane policy. Employees of companies without chartered plane arrangement are required to accept a 14-day quarantine.

The Guangzhou government is discussing about chartered plane arrangement with foreign Chambers of Commerce. SMEs can contact with foreign Chambers of Commerce or large-scaled companies which are able to make chartered plane arrangement.





5.     If I successfully extend my visa, can I leave the Chinese mainland and then come back within the valid duration of stay?


You are able to leave Chinese mainland but need to apply for the Invitation Letter before you re-enter the border. If you fail to apply for the Invitation Letter, you have to wait until Chinese mainland reopens its border and come back within the valid duration of your visa.



6.     If I'm currently overseas, how can I apply for visa to enter China?


According to the latest requirements, you should submit visa application with valid NAT result at the Chinese embassy or consulate general in your current location.



7.     If I'm currently in Hong Kong, how can I apply for visa to come back?


There's a visa center in Hong Kong but it's currently closed due to the third wave of Covid-19 in the city. You can make contact with the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong under urgent circumstances.



8.     How to apply for Visa Extension?


You can apply for visa extension as many times as you want until the pandemic ends. The length of each extended stay cannot exceed the duration of stay on your original visa.

The Guangzhou Entry and Exit Department requires minimum documents for approval. For example, if you apply for visa extension, you only need to submit basic personal information, passport, a recent passport style photo with a barcode and a registration form of temporary residence.

The department also allows online application through its WeChat program ‘广州公安’ and official website:

For more details about visa application, you can check:






Disclaimer: The above information is based on notes of a meeting with the Guangzhou Foundation for International Exchange & Cooperation, the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau, Education Bureau, and Epidemic Control Group on 28th July to give guidance to European Chamber members. It is not meant as legal advice. The steps and requirements listed above need to be confirmed by the authority in charge of the visa application.


For more information please contact

Bruce Ding

Eileen Huang