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Clarification for Coverage in Mainland by Foreign Correspondents in HKSAR
---coming into effect on January Ist, 2007

The Regulations on Reporting Activities in China by Foreign Journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and the Preparatory Period, issued by the State Council of the PRC, has come into effect on January 1, 2007. For the convenience of foreign correspondents making coverage in mainland, we compile some possible questions arising from the new Regulations and answers to them.

Q: With the new Regulation coming into effect, do foreign correspondents in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) still need visa when go to mainland for coverage?

A: Foreign correspondents in HKSAR still need to apply for visa with the Commissioner's Office or other institutions authorized by the State Council of the PRC. With the approval, the applicant can go to the foreign visa section of the Consular Department of the Commissioner's Office to get a visa.

Q: What facilities do the Regulations provide to foreign correspondents?

A: I. Correspondents don't need to apply to local foreign affairs offices, but still must have the prior consent of the interviewee.

II. Correspondents don't have to be received or accompanied by any given Chinese institution when traveling in China.

III. Procedures for equipment entry have been streamlined. Foreign correspondents will now get customs clearance for equipment with an "Equipment Confirmation Letter" issued by the Commissioner's Office, J-2 visa or a valid "Olympic Identity and Accreditation Card". They no longer have to secure a guarantee letter or guarantee deposit for their equipment from the receiving institution.

Q: What documents are needed for applying short-term coverage visa (J-2)?

A: I. Invitation letter from the interviewee

II. Application letter from the agency with which the correspondent is affiliated.

III. Copies of passport and resume.

IV. A list of reporting equipment (the declaration form can be downloaded from the website of the Commissioner's Office)

These documents can be faxed to 852-21066153, Department of Press and Public Relation Affairs of the Commissioner's Office.

Q: What about procedures for reporting equipment?

A: I. Download and fill the form of List of Reporting Equipment of Foreign Correspondents at the Commissioner's Office website, and fax the printed form together with other required application documents mentioned above to 852-21066153.

II. When claiming visa, correspondents shall ask the consular official for a stamped "Equipment List" and "Equipment Confirmation Letter".

Q: Can a correspondent apply multiple entry J-2 visas?

A: Normally, a correspondent can apply, in accordance with his or her coverage needs, a single entry visa or a 3 month valid visa with 2 entries.

Q: Are there any changes in applying F (business) visa, L(tourism) visa and G(transit) visa?

A: There is no change. For detailed information, please log on to www.fmprc.gov.hk/eng.

For further information, you can contact us in office hours. The Department of Press and Public Relations Affairs is at your service.

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