Passport rumor denied by authorities

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, February 14, 2022
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An online rumor that the National Immigration Administration is issuing and renewing passports for private travel was denied by the administration on Saturday.

It said it will continue to maintain a strict entry and exit policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic overseas.

The rumor that immigration authorities in some regions had resumed the issuance and renewal of passports for private purposes, including overseas travel, spread rapidly on social media platforms last week, prompting some people to make inquiries to the administration.

It refuted the rumor in a statement, saying the pandemic situation abroad remains grim and there are major security risks in cross-border travel. It said people should not leave China unless such travel is urgent or necessary.

For those who really need to go abroad for study, work or business, the immigration authorities will issue passports and other exit and entry documents after verification, it said.

The administration will announce any changes to immigration policy promptly on its website or social media account, and people can also call its 12367 service hotline, it said.

Liu Haitao, head of the administration's department of frontier inspection and management, told a news conference in December the administration would not allow people to leave the country for nonessential or nonemergency reasons.

In August, Liu told another news conference the administration had adopted a stricter approach to the issuance of exit and entry documents, including ordinary passports, to protect people's health and safety and prevent cross-border transmission of COVID-19.

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