🆕 When can students enter China? (Updated Weekly)
When can students enter China? Register here for our weekly email newsletter updates with all the updates.
Disclaimer: this article is for general information only, we do our best to keep it updated, but please check the most recent update with the embassy and your university.
Can students enter China? Currently, we categorize the Chinese border as partially open. X1 visa applications are open for international students to apply to Chinese student visas. However, not every student has been contacted yet. Even though visa applications are open, universities will only permit students to return in small groups or batches. Therefore, some students have not been given permission to return as the universities pursue a gradual opening plan. You will be contacted eventually, but please maintain patience as the border opening is gradual.
However, the process will not be immediate. In some cases, senior students are being called back first and first year/part-time students will be the last. Flights back to China remain limited, and the high prices of flights and quarantine could still be a barrier to some students.
Students will need to closely follow China’s epidemic procedures to return to China. More information here.
Here are the countries that have already sent students back to China or have posted visa notices on their embassy website: United Kingdom, Ireland, Rwanda, Singapore, Nepal, Myanmar, Liberia, Canada, Thailand, Russia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Nicaragua, Malaysia, Mexico, Indonesia, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Morocco, India, USA, Lebanon, Ghana, Hungary, France, Peru, Panama, Tajikistan, Qatar, Bahrain, Montenegro, Malta, Palestine, Algeria, Sweden, Turkey, Latvia, Estonia, Greece, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Oman.
(Last updated November 2022).
How can students go to China now? Please click here for the steps and process.
If you are applying to study in China, we strongly advise you to make other plans, so you have options in case you’re not able to come to China.
Check out options in Malaysia, UK, and other countries here.
Thank you to all the students who have shared, commented, and sent us information about their status. It takes a lot of time to find the accurate updates to share which we update daily, if you appreciate this please help us out by sharing this to your friends on social media or leaving a comment below, thanks for your support!
Is China’s Border Open in 2022?
Yes, the Chinese border is opening to students from various countries and universities as the fall semester starts in September. There are some students who have received notice to enter China already for Fall 2022 semester, but other students who have not received notice or visas yet will not be able to enter China in time to start school in September. China is slowly and gradually opening up student visas to new groups of students. We expect that throughout the Fall 2022 semester, more small groups of students will be returning. We do not know which groups of students are next in line to return.
Will the Chinese border open fully in 2023? As of now, we do not expect the Chinese border to suddenly open to pre-pandemic levels. All indicators from academic and government sources show that the border’s opening is going to continue to be gradual. China is expected to continue the Zero-Covid policy, but some changes have already been made such as shorter required quarantine time. Since the final decisions are made by the Chinese government, we cannot give exact dates.
If you have been contacted by your university and given permission to return to China, please click here for more information:
What is the situation for international students in China now?
- Students who are located outside of China are taking classes online.
- Many students located in China are taking daily/weekly Covid tests. Lockdowns may still occur in areas with Covid in China.
- Students need to bear all the costs of returning to China.
- Students are still able to apply to Chinese universities even if they are outside of China.
What can you do to learn more?
- Communicate with your university and Chinese embassy to your country. They will be the first to tell you if you can return.
- Check your email frequently.
- Check this page frequently — We update daily.
- Coordinate with your classmates from your country and university to find community and share information.
- Get vaccinated.
- If you will return to China when you are given notice, click here for more information.
- If you are given notice to return to China, you can privately contact me email@example.com
📰 News Updates on Students’ Return to China
- On Nov 18, 2022, Shenzhen University confirmed with China Admissions that they will be issuing JW202s (an essential form to apply for a Chinese visa) to Chinese language students in their semester programs from Spring 2023.
- SZU reminds students that they cannot guarantee the visa application will be successful because of the restrictions, but Chinese language students will be able to apply with the JW202.
- Current SZU Chinese language students can contact the university for more information. If you want to apply to the SZU Chinese program, click here.
- On Nov 15, 2022, A number of Chinese cities have suspended mass PCR testing (including Shanghai, Sanya, Dalian, Fuzhou, Shijiazhuang, and Hefei) (source, source, Chinese)
- However, routine PCR testing and general screening will continue.
- On Nov 11, 2022, China released new Covid guidelines (Chinese, English summary). Here are the most relevant points:
- Quarantine time for people entering China has reduced to 5+3 (click here for an explanation of that)
- “Circuit Breaker policy” canceled–flights with more than 4% of positive cases will not be canceled for a cool off period anymore
- Close contacts of positive cases in China will also only complete 5+3 quarantine instead of 7+3
- Arbitrary lockdown and closure of schools is banned.
- Only 1 negative PRC test within 48 hours before boarding.
- However, the Zero-Covid Policy is overall still in effect. Cities with outbreaks are still entering serious lockdowns.
- On Oct 30, we joined an online webinar to talk about how students can return to China, discuss the pros and cons of studying in China today, and the career market for international students.
- Watch it here.
See More News for all Countries and Full Timeline Information ▶️▶️
We are unable to provide any more information about Covid travel guidelines for your specific country, program, or university.
If you have questions about your specific country, university, or program, you can reach out to your program administration or the Chinese embassy in your home country.
If you are contacted by your university saying you can return to China, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
🌐 Global Admissions + Transfer Options
On Global Admissions, you can…
- Apply to universities around the world in one convenient application
- See which countries are open to international students
- Check out global scholarships
- Transfer to another university anywhere in the world
To help students, right now we are offering a free application service.
💉 Vaccine Requirements to Enter China
Will students need a vaccine to enter China? Yes, students must be vaccinated in order to return to China. The vaccines you get must be recognized by either China or the World Health Organization. If it is possible for you to get a booster shot closer to your departure date, we strongly recommend it.
A vaccine passport is a required document for visas/flights.
🏨 Quarantine Times and Costs
How long do students need to quarantine in China?
Students will need to follow China’s quarantine rules, which have just been changed to a minimum of 8 total days of quarantine: 5 days in a government quarantine facility and 3 days of home observation, either in a hotel or private accommodation (original Chinese). China has a “Dynamic Zero Covid” policy. This means that hotel quarantine times, available flights, and the cost of quarantine/flights are constantly changing as different outbreaks happen in Chinese cities or around the world.
*Note: Hong Kong recently announced it will implement a “0+3” policy instead of the 5+3 policy. This is only for travelers flying into Hong Kong.
China also reserves the right to cancel or limit flights from countries where there are Covid outbreaks, or to restrict travel into a Chinese city that is experiencing a Covid outbreak.
China’s “Dynamic Zero Covid” policy is designed to keep Covid from spreading in China. The downside is, for foreign students, it is extremely difficult to predict quarantine times, available flights, and total costs ahead of time.
What steps do I need to follow to return to China? Please click here.
How much does it cost for students to return to China?
The costs to return to China are to be borne by the student and include the following basic cost: Flight to China, Quarantine for 10 day minimum in a Chinese hotel, Covid Test fees. Here are some estimates of costs:
Duke Kunshan University (DKU) students will complete a 14+7 quarantine: two weeks of centralized quarantine in Shanghai and Kunshan/Suzhou, followed by a week of home health management in DKU accommodation. DKU students on financial aid can apply for up to $3000 USD in quarantine finance support (source).
For Russian students, the Twitter account @takeusbacktoCHN calculated the total costs of return to China for Russian students.
Russian students needed to….
- Quarantine in the departure city in Russia for 7 days: total 2500 RMB
- 5 Covid tests in Russia: 1300 RMB
- Flight ticket: 4000-15000+ RMB (depending on city of arrival)
- Quarantine in China (21 days in Shenzhen): 9450 RMB (8 total nucleic acid tests, free in China)
China Admissions has no control over the costs associated with returning to China and did not create these numbers. We are only sharing this information here so you can be informed.
If you want to roughly calculate the total costs, we recommend using the standard quarantine time of 7+3. You can calculate the cost of 10 total days in a Chinese hotel + the cost of a flight into China.
Here is more information about the procedures to return to China:
🧳 What to pack for Quarantine in China
If you have been given notice to return to China, you will need to pack and prepare to travel to China (maybe for the first time!) and also prepare for at least three weeks in hotel quarantine, potentially longer if the city you travel to experiences a Covid outbreak.
Based on the requirements of the airline, you may not be able to bring a lot of luggage with you–maybe only 2 or 3 suitcases unless you want to pay an extra luggage fee.
1 important thing to bring….Documents!
- Make copies of all your documents, including visa, health checks, vaccination certification, university admission letter…
- Keep multiple copies on your person and in a suitcase
Other things to pack and bring for quarantine in China…
✍️ Applying for Intake 2023
Chinese universities are open to applicants from international students this application season. Learn more about applying to the 202 intake here!
Undeniably, there is a certain degree of risk planning to attend university internationally during these times. However, it’s better to apply now and withdraw later than to miss the deadline and opportunity completely.
Also we strongly advise you to make other plans, so you have options in case you’re not able to come to China.
China Admissions can help you prepare an application, communicate with the university, and update you on the latest China news.
By this point, Chinese universities have adapted to the fact that some of their students live outside of China. They are providing more services and opportunities for international students online!
For students who cannot enter China, there is no need to pause your learning. We encourage you to take advantage of opportunities in your home country and online.
We have many exciting online courses available for students all around the world:
- 7 Apps to Learn Chinese for Free!
- Best online Chinese courses
- Best FREE Ways to Self-Study Chinese Online
- Free Online Classes: new opportunities every week!
If you are enrolled in a degree program in a Chinese university, it is up to the university to organize and schedule your online classes. They will vary depending on the university.
🧠 Maintaining Health & Building Mental Strength
Please also make sure to read the tips here on how to deal with challenging situations. Strengthening your mind is something that can benefit everyone, and it is important to make sure to take some time and attention to continually strengthen your mental health during this time.
- Turn off the news and social media
- Get some fresh air and regular movement
- Invest in your local community
- Have a hobby for yourself
- Make alternate plans
- Ask for help
- Stay connected!
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