IOC-accredited visitors to be granted visa-free entry

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 January, 2007, 12:00am

Beijing will waive visa requirements for IOC-accredited overseas visitors a month before and after the 2008 Olympic Games, a public security official said yesterday.

Li Changyou , deputy director of the Exit and Entry Administration under the Ministry of Public Security, said the visa-free terms would apply to people with valid Olympic accreditation cards issued by the International Olympic Committee.

A spokesman for the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games said the accreditation card was mainly issued to journalists, athletes and support staff from the participating countries.

The mainland already grants visa-free entry for visits of up to 15 days to citizens of Japan, Singapore and Brunei, but most other overseas nationals must have a visa.

Mr Li said representatives of participating countries coming to the mainland to work on the 2008 Games would also be granted a one-year work permit.

'China will ... look further into any related measures to make it easier for foreign friends to watch the Olympic Games in 2008,' he said.