China’s visa and passport backlog obstructs business travel reboot
01/09/2023|1:34:33 PM|Skift

The situation on the ground in China isn’t ideal as the country readies to remove its travel restrictions this weekend.

The head of one major corporate travel agency, based in Shanghai, has warned that companies wanting to restart business trips will face delays because employees will struggle to secure the right travel documents.

“China has suspended passport renewals in the past three years, so now travelers are rushing to have their new passports issued,” said Jonathan Kao, managing director, Greater China at BCD Travel.

“Visas are also an issue as most have expired and some of the major embassies, like the U.S., Germany and Japan, were closed in the last few weeks due to increasing cases of Covid in China leading to staffing issues,” he added.

Corporate travel agency CWT also said many embassies were not operating and processing at pre-pandemic levels, causing significant delays with visa applications.

It looks set to hamper travel to and from China, compounded by other countries requiring pre-arrival PCR tests, and company travel managers are wary despite the doors being flung open.

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