Toward a new visa vista

Updated: 2015-04-15 08:10

By Yang Feiyue(China Daily)

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Toward a new visa vista

A group of Chinese women dress in Korean attire while visiting Jeju Island.[Photo/China Daily] 

The Republic of Korea will next week relax policies for outbound Chinese tourists, likely maintaining its place as the top destination for visitors from China. Yang Feiyue reports.

April 20's visa change will likely buttress the Republic of Korea's current position as outbound Chinese tourists' top destination.

The ROK's Ministry of Justice announced on April 6 that the country will extend to five years the validity of Chinese tourists' multiple-entry visas from the current one or three. (There are no two-year visas.)

"The prolonged visa validity period will save costs and streamline application procedures," says Dai Yu, marketing director of China's biggest online travel agency Ctrip's tourism department.

China, Japan and the ROK have agreed to work to increase the number of visitors among them to 30 million in 2020 from some 20 million in 2014, says a joint statement of the three countries' tourism ministers released on the China National Tourism Administration's website on April 12.

The ROK announced the policy after Japan recently declared Chinese aboard 11 select cruise liners can disembark at its ports without visas.

Japan also extended the validity of multiple-entry tourist visas for Chinese from three to five years on Jan 19.

And ROK visa centers will be opened in Guangdong's provincial capital Guangzhou and Shandong province's Qingdao this July to shorten application times.

Applicants' age limits will be removed, the ministry says. Chinese visitors must currently be 17-60 years old.

Chinese who have earned, or are currently studying on campus, for bachelor's degrees can apply. They previously had to come from 211 select universities. Those who aren't enrolled in or haven't completed four-year degrees can't apply.

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