Immigration centers across the country were busy on Monday, the first business day after the country resumed issuing passports and travel permits to mainland Chinese residents.
The center has resumed full operations on 30 July 2021 after the issuance of travel documents for tourism and non-emergency purposes was suspended due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Demand for services is expected to continue to grow, with strong demand for passports and other services on Monday, not only from mainland residents but also from foreigners seeking residence permits and visas, the Immigration Department said. There is
Even though all service counters at the Beijing Immigration Service Center were open on Monday, applicants for travel documents still had to wait for a short period of time.
Liu Jing, an immigration bureau official for Beijing Municipal Public Security, said the number of people visiting the center in the morning was similar to pre-COVID levels.
“As immigration service centers across the country are dealing with a surge in applications, we strongly recommend booking online first to avoid long wait times,” Liu said.
Management of COVID-19 was downgraded from Class A to Class B on Sunday. The following day, authorities resumed issuing passports for mainland Chinese residents for overseas tourism purposes and processing approvals for mainland Chinese residents to visit Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Mr Gong, who lives in Beijing, said his passport will expire in 2022 and needs to be renewed urgently.
“Before the pandemic, I loved traveling the world. Now I can continue to do so,” said the 66-year-old woman, flipping through the pages of her old passport, which contains entry stamps for many countries. said.
The Gongs, who also renewed their passports, took about an hour to complete the renewal process. After hearing a week ago that passport renewal and other services would resume on Monday, the couple decided to renew their passports as soon as possible.
“I would like to visit Europe and Africa this year. First, I will consider countries that have not imposed travel restrictions on people traveling from China,” Gong said.
Chen Shubin made an appointment online to apply for travel documents to visit Hong Kong after services became available at the Beijing Center. “I used to plan to travel to Hong Kong but was unable to because of travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. Now I can finally travel,” Chen said. Told.
Zi Xiaowen of the Beijing Immigration Administration said services for foreigners at the center had returned to normal. This service deals with applications for extensions, renewals and reissues of general visas, temporary residence permits and residence permits for foreigners.
“As the number of inbound flights begins to rise and more foreigners come to China, we expect to see a gradual increase in applications from foreigners.
Derek Holste, 24, from the United States, successfully submitted his residence permit application on Monday.
A doctoral student at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing said, “Now it’s more convenient for students from all over the world to study in China. This is a great opportunity.”
Operations have been optimized in response to the large number of visa applications in Shanghai, said Shen Zhang, director general of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau’s Exit and Entry Administration.
All 150 reception counters in the city are open to service, Shen said.
Li Peixuan from Beijing and Wang Ying from Shanghai contributed to this story.