Multiple-entry visa applications suspended

Thursday, April 10, 2008
Issue 309, Page 3
Word count: 348
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The issuance of multiple-entry visas to foreign passport holders was yesterday confirmed by the Commissioner’s Office of Chinese Foreign Ministry in Macau as being suspended for an uncertain period.

Spokeswoman for the Consular Affairs Department of the Commissioner’s Office, Zhou Yong-mei, told the Macau Daily Times that “the issuance of some types of multiple-entry visas is affected due to the adjustment of the visa processing system”.

“As to when the application will come back to normal, we do not have an exact answer by now,” Ms Zhou said, adding that it would “of course” be resumed in the future.

Valid multiple-entry visas which are currently held by foreign visitors have not been affected by the move.

However, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu denied on Tuesday that the Chinese government had stopped issuing multiple-entry visas prior to the Beijing Olympic Games, the South China Morning Post reported.

Although applications for single and double-entry visas remain in place, holders are limited to travel on the permission to Mainland China within three months.

By contrast, multiple-entry visas allow foreign passport holders to travel back and forth to the Mainland for unlimited times, with a validation period ranging from six months to three years.

Having started the suspension early last week, Ms Zhou denied to the MDT that it was led by the opening of the Olympic Games or its current torch relay which will return to Mainland China on May 4 and then go around the country before concluding in Beijing on August 6.

She stressed again it was “a kind of technical problem in the visa processing system”.

According to a local travel agent, Juventude International Travel, however, their recent applications lodged for multiple-entry visas were rejected and “it was because of the Olympic Games”.

The spokeswoman said no further details had been given explaining why the visa ban was imposed, adding that when the restriction would be lifted remained unknown.

While the fee for a single-entry or double-entry visa is about 150 patacas and 220 patacas respectively, a multiple-entry one costs from six-month’s 400 patacas to three-year’s 600 patacas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: