Macao’s non-Chinese residents begin to apply for Mainland travel permits

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11th July 2024 – (Macao) Starting this Wednesday, non-Chinese permanent residents of Macao have begun applying for special travel permits that will allow them to enter mainland China, marking a significant policy shift announced by China’s immigration authorities. As of 10th July, 2024, this new provision extends to eligible residents of both the Macao and Hong Kong Special Administrative Regions.

The National Immigration Administration of China has specified that these special permits will be valid for five years and permit multiple entries into the mainland. Each visit can last up to 90 days, providing considerable flexibility for the holders.

Among the early applicants was Anthony Cheang, a Canadian who has been a permanent resident of Macao for a decade. Cheang, an airline pilot, described the application process, which he initiated online, as efficient and quick, taking roughly 10 minutes. He expressed optimism about the potential career opportunities this new permit could open up for him in mainland China.

Another enthusiastic applicant, Amelia Antonio, a lawyer of Portuguese descent who has resided in Macao for 42 years, sees the permit as a bridge to greater interaction with the mainland. She anticipates that the permit will enhance her ability to share and explain cultural differences and experiences with her colleagues and friends in Macao.

To accommodate the expected influx of applicants and ensure a smooth application process, China Travel Service (Macao) Ltd.’s travel permit centre has made special arrangements. According to Chen Jiemei, the executive deputy general manager, the centre has introduced services in Portuguese and English and established four dedicated counters for handling these applications.