On 25 January, ahead of the Chinese New Year travel season, the hotly anticipated reciprocal visa exemption deal between China and Singapore was finally signed, with its details confirmed.
From 9 February, CNY Eve, travellers with passports from either China or Singapore will be able to enter the reciprocal country visa-free and remain for 30 days. The policy is limited to private purposes like tourism, visiting family or business. Employment and work like journalism will still need to be pre-approved and require visas.
Previously, Singaporean nationals could travel to China for 15 days without the need for a visa. The policy was paused during Covid-related restrictions and resumed on 26 July 2023. On the other hand, Chinese nationals have always needed a visa to visit the Southeast Asian country.
According to the travel booking platform Fliggy, searches for flights and hotels to Singapore surged 15 and 6 times respectively within an hour after the announcement. Singapore has also become the number 5 hottest destination for the 9-day CNY holidays. On another platform, Qunar, searches for hotels in Singapore quadrupled.