China Entry and Exit Requirements and Procedures

Written by Sally Guo Updated Aug. 8, 2022

To enter China with valid certificates

The foreign travelers must present valid passports, China visas, credentials, and certificates of hygiene quarantine to the frontier inspecting checkpoint of the appointed ports. They are required to fill in an entering card and cannot enter until the inspecting checkpoint approves and have a seal on the relevant credentials.

Valid Credentials

1. Passport: Passport is a credential that a country's governing organs issue to their citizens for going abroad or residing abroad, which can testify their nationalities and their identification

2. Visa: All visitors traveling to mainland China whether for business or pleasure, require a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the duration of your intended stay. Visas are issued through Chinese embassies and consulates overseas.

Procedures of the customs

The foreigners cannot enter China or the mainland of China at the appointed ports open to them unless they have valid credentials.

Custom channels

The custom channels are divided into two types: the red channel (also called tax channel) and the green channel (also called a free channel).

A. Red channel

Foreign travelers usually enter China by way of the red channel. They must declare first to the custom after filling in the passenger baggage declaration form and can enter after the registration at the customs.

The declaration form loses its validity once being defaced or lost. The transacted procedure of custom should be handed in when leaving China. The declaration form must be filled in according to the facts. And those who declare dishonestly or do not declare at all will be dealt with according to law by customs once identified.
The overseas travelers to China could carry with them some necessary and reasonable quantity of items for the journey. The passengers over 16 years can carry 400 cigarettes and two bottles of wine (with each bottle weighing 750 grams).

B. Green channel

The foreign personnel who have been granted with diplomatic visa-passport or courtesy visa-passport by the Chinese authorities or granted with free-of-examination courtesy can choose the green channel. But they have to show their own credentials to the customs and the declaration document table filled according to the requirements.


1. The document table is fit for passengers with valid traveling credentials like PRC passports. But the passengers who shuttle between mainland of China and Hong Kong or Macao are exceptions;

2. The requirements of the customs illustrated in the document table are: the current governing requirements on the baggage brought in by all sorts of passengers;

3. For the passengers under the age of 16 years old, Customs only releases the first items;

4. The commodities exceeding the maximum limit of the items listed in this table should be transacted according to other concerning provisions.

China Customs
China Customs

The hygiene quarantine for entering China

The foreigners entering China should fill in the health declaration forms truthfully at the request of border quarantine departments. The patients with infectious diseases who do not report and declare would be punished in way of evading quarantine and are to be prevented from entering once identified. Those who have entered are to be ordered to leave China in advance.

The infectious patients from infected areas are required to produce a valid certificate of immunization-related diseases (Commonly known as the "yellow book"); the

Frontier Health and Quarantine infected organs will run a test for 6 days from the day they left the infected environment if they have no valid certificate.

The commodities from the areas that may have been contaminated by infectious diseases or may become the media articles of epidemic diseases are to be subject to health and sanitation inspection and quarantine treatment.

People Who are Forbidden to Enter China

The following people are forbidden to enter China:

A. Those who are deported out of China and who are under the regulated age;
B. Those who are considered as possible terrorists or who are thought to undertake violence and subversive activities after entering;
C. Those who are thought to undertake possible smuggling, drug trafficking, and prostitution activities;
D. Those that are mentally ill or have leprosy, AIDS, venereal diseases, open tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases;
E. Those who cannot afford what is needed in China;
F. Those that are considered to be engaged possibly in the activities of endangering the security and the interests of our country after entering.

The frontier checkpoint has the right to prevent the following people from entering:

A. The people who have no valid passports, certificates, or visas;
B. Those that have forged, defaced, or other people's passports or certificates;
C. Those that refused to be inspected;
D. Those that are forbidden to enter by the Ministry of Public Security and the National Security Ministry.

China Visa
China Visa

Exit China

To leave China with valid certificates

Foreign tourists ought to leave the country within the time limit of being allowed to stay by visa from allocating port;

Foreign tourists who leave the country must deliver effective passports or other effective certificates to the port border checkpoint.

People Who are Forbidden to Leave the Borders

(1) The defendants in a criminal case or the criminal suspects identified by the people's procuratorates, the public security organs, or the court;
(2) Those who are not allowed to leave a country because of unsettled civil cases according to the People's court notice;
(3) Others whose behaviors have violated China's laws and have been identified as needing to pursue by the competent authorities.

The border authorities have the right to prevent the following people from leaving China

(1) The people who hold invalid certificates;
(2) Those that have forged, defaced, or other people's passports or certificates;
(3) Those that refused to be inspected.

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