Norway still excluded from Chinese Visa scheme
Despite an ever-improved relationship with China, Norwegians are still the only Schengen citizens who can not travel without a visa to Shanghai and Beijing.
– The matter has been taken up with Chinese authorities on several occasions, says Communications Manager in the Norwegian Foreign Ministry (UD), Frode Overland Andersen, to NTB.
Residents in all EU countries, as well as Switzerland and Iceland, can travel visa-free to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou for up to 72 hours. The scheme was introduced during the diplomatic ice front between Norway and China in the period from 2010 to 2016, and this is probably the reason why Norway is not included in the Chinese visa scheme.
– Just like Norway, China chooses their own visa and entry rules independently, Overland Andersen points out.
Last week, the Royal Couple, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Industry concluded their state visit to China. The UD describes the visit as a success and as a real boost in the recently restored friendly relations between the two countries. Thus there may be hope of a softening of the regulations.
– Norway is already on the list of countries that can travel visa-free to the Hainan Island, and we hope Norway will soon be included in the visa-free transit program that applies to other parts of China, the Communications Manager explains.
The Hainan Island holiday destination, known for its beaches, is, by the way, the Royal Couple’s starting point on the China trip. They enjoyed a private stay earlier there early this month before the official state visit. To travel visa-free for up to 15 days, Norwegians must attend a group trip under the auspices of an approved organiser, according to Chinese authorities.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today