Home Travel & Adventure Portugal Seeks Clarity from China Over Exclusion from Visa-Free Travel Scheme

Portugal Seeks Clarity from China Over Exclusion from Visa-Free Travel Scheme

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Portugal wants to seek clarity from China on the reasons why the country was not included in the visa-free scheme that China has introduced for several European Union countries.

The Ambassador of Portugal to China, Paulo Jorge Pereira Nascimento, said that he is considering requiring the Chinese authorities to provide reasons why Portugal was excluded from the scheme, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

According to Ambassador Nascimento, it is very unexpected and difficult to understand why China did not include Portugal in its decision and continues to require Portugal’s nationals to obtain a visa before travel.

The same stressed that it is not legitimate to speculate on the reasons why only some other countries have been included in the visa-free scheme.

For this reason, the country wants to require the Chinese authorities to share the reasons behind their decision not to permit Portuguese passport holders to enter the country without the need to obtain a visa.

Ambassador Nascimento also said that the country does not believe that China wanted to send a message by not including it in the visa-free scheme. This suggests that Portugal expects China to convey its messages clearly rather than “punishing” its citizens.

China Says It is Open to Negotiating with Portugal

While Portugal has been very concerned about the decision of China, the latter’s authorities have said that they are open to negotiations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China expressed its openness to engaging in negotiations with Portugal regarding their bilateral relations.

However, the Ministry did not specify the particular issue at hand, nor did it issue an official statement regarding the exclusion of Portugal from the visa-free scheme.

On the other hand, some have suggested that it is a matter of time before China starts permitting nationals of Portugal to enter the country without the need to apply for a visa.

China Just Recently Started Offering Visa-Free Entry for Additional 6 EU Countries

Just recently, China decided to extend its visa-free entry policy to include an additional six EU countries.

Since March 14, passport holders of Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg have been able to enter China without a visa for stays of up to 15 days.

The visa-free scheme was expanded to include these countries as part of China’s move to foster closer ties and help its travel and tourism sectors recover.

Passport holders of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain have also been allowed to enter China visa-free since December 2023.

Nationals of the EU countries mentioned above travelling to China are exempt from the visa requirements provided that they are entering for tourism, business, visit, and transit purposes.

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