China denies blocking passports to keep Covid in check
China denies blocking passports to keep Covid in check

China’s immigration authority stated today that it is still providing services for necessary visits outside the country, dismissing rumours that passport issuances have been halted and residency cards for foreigners living in China have been revoked.

The National Immigration Administration (NIA) stated in a statement that officials have expedited the processing of certificates for persons who need to travel overseas for essential and urgent reasons such as study, scientific research, commerce and business, and medical reasons.

The NIA was reacting to “foreign media claims” claiming that the agency had suspended passport issuance and invalidated residency cards granted by foreign nations to Chinese individuals eligible to live abroad by clipping off the corners. The NIA’s statement omitted any instances of the reports.

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The remark came after the National Institute of Health (NIA) announced yesterday that it will “strictly ban” needless abroad travel by Chinese people to reduce the danger of a COVID-19 outbreak caused by infections among international travellers.

“There are still a lot of unknowns about how the pandemic will develop, and there’s a lot of risk of getting infected while travelling abroad,” the NIA said in a statement today cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval

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“People in the country should avoid unnecessary and non-urgent travel overseas.”

Traveling abroad from China has grown increasingly difficult due to frequent flight cancellations and travel restrictions in locations where domestic COVID outbreaks have occurred, as the country insists on harsh measures, including citywide lockdowns, to combat a wave of infections this year.

For journeys deemed superfluous, the country has halted the issuance of ordinary passports. The NIA said in February that it will not be issuing or renewing leisure passports.

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According to NIA data, mainland citizens’ trips in and out of the country decreased by about 80% in 2021 compared to the previous year.