The Embassy of China in the U.S. announced yesterday that effective May 5, 2009:
1. One and two-day visa service is "suspended" (the words used by personnel at the Embassy of China).
2. China visa issuances will now require six business days. Thus, for example, visa applications submitted on a Monday will not be returned from the embassy until the following Monday
3. Effective May 5, 2009, all visa applications must now also include a "Declaration Form" from the China Embassy (or Consulate) requiring the applicant to "list countries or US states that the applicant has visited in the past 2 weeks in a time sequence."
In the past, the Embassy of China, normally has given one week notices of changes in visa application requirements. This time, it gave the notice with a one-day advance which is very unusual. The fact that the Embassy used the word "suspended" suggests that this may be temporary, but at this time we do not know for how long this change will be in effect.
Yesterday, officials at the Visa Section of the Embassy of China verbally told applicants the changes were due to the H1N1 (Swine) Flu situation.
All changes in China visa application procedures reported in this memo have been made on the A Briggs web site at www.abriggs.com including the Declaration Form. To download the Declaration Form, go to http://chinavisas.abriggs.com/visas/c/china_business_visa.php and in item Number 5, click on "China Visa Declaration Form. All China visa applicants must include the completed and signed Declaration Form.
There have been reliable reports of Mexican passport holders being quarantined upon arrival in China, Hong Kong and Singapore. One corporate customer of A Briggs informed us of the following posting on the web site of Continental Airlines:
Advisement for Travel to China (Mexican Passport Holders)The Chinese government is detaining for quarantine passengers arriving in China holding Mexican passports. Continental Airlines was not advised in advance that any new quarantine policy was being implemented by the Chinese Government, and is currently trying to obtain information about the new policy. Please take this information into consideration when planning your trip to China and let us know if you want to delay your travel until this is resolved.
For details on the web site of the Government of China, see http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/.
For details on Singapore, see comments on the web site of the Government of Singapore at http://www.moh.gov.sg/mohcorp/default.aspx which states: The Home Quarantine Order came into effect today. As of 1900 hrs on 4 May, a total of 3 HQOs have been issued. Travelers entering Singapore with a travel history to Mexico over the past seven days will be quarantined for seven days when they enter Singapore from when they were last in Mexico. To date, 1 was issued to a foreign resident and 2 were issued to Singaporeans.
For Passport and Visa Information: 1-800-806-0581