In terms of visa applications, the Updated Requirements for Visa Application released on 25 Nov 2020 still applies:
1. Due to the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic in the U.K., the Chinese Embassy and Consulates-General in the U.K. will accept ordinary visa applications from the following applicants only:
1) Applicant who has obtained an "Invitation Letter (PU/TE)" or a "Verification Confirmation of Invitation" issued by the Foreign Affairs Office of the provincial government or the provincial department of commerce of the intended place of visit for visiting China for economic, trade, scientific or technological purposes;
2) Applicant who has obtained a "Notification Letter of Foreigners Work Permit" as well as an "Invitation Letter (PU/TE)" or a "Verification Confirmation of Invitation" for working in China;
3)Applicant who intends to visit an immediate family member (foreign nationals included) in China (including parents, spouse, children, grandparents, grandchildren) who is in critical medical condition and in need of care, or to arrange funeral matters of an immediate family member in China;
Photocopies of medical certificate or death certificate, proof of relationships (including birth certificate, marriage certificate, Chinese household registration, certificate letter from the local police bureau in China, notarial certificate of kinship, etc.), and an invitation letter from relatives in China are required.
4) Applicant who qualifies for a crew (C) visa.
5) Applicant (including accompanying spouse and children under the age of 18) who qualifies for a high-level talent (R) visa.
Applicants above are required to fill in the online application form and make an appointment with the nearest Chinese Visa Service Application Centre (CVASC) before submitting applications in person on the date of appointment. Children under the age of 14 and adults above the age of 70 are not required to go to the CVASC for biometric information collection.
2. From 1st December 2020, diplomatic, service or courtesy visa applicants shall also submit applications at the CVASC in advance. The applicants are not required to pre-book appointment time slots, but shall complete and print out the online application forms through the CVASC.
3. Applicants who apply for visas for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or Macao Special Administrative Region can submit applications to the CVASC during business hours with no need for pre-booked appointments.
4. Visa applications for other visiting purposes which are not included above will not be accepted at the moment.
On top of that, regarding foreign nationals who have had a Chinese vaccine, the Chinese Embassy in the UK posted on its website the Notice on Providing Facilitation for Visa Applicants Inoculated with COVID-19 Vaccines Produced in China on 15 March 2021:
1. In order to resume people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries in an orderly manner, starting from 15 March 2021, the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the U.K. will provide the following facilitation for visa applicants who have been inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines produced in China and obtained the vaccination certificate:
I) Foreign nationals and their family members visiting the mainland of China for necessary business activities in various fields need only to provide the documents as were required before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic when applying for a visa. It is no longer needed to provide the Invitation Letter (PU), Invitation Letter (TE) or Verification Letter of Invitation issued by the foreign affairs offices or the departments of commerce of the provincial (including autonomous regions and municipalities) governments.
II) The scope of applicants eligible for applying for a visa out of emergency humanitarian needs will be expanded. Foreign family members of Chinese citizens or permanent residents of China, including spouse, parents, children and other close relatives living together (referring to siblings, grandparents and grandchildren), may submit visa applications for the purposes of reuniting with family, taking care of the elderly, visiting relatives, attending funerals or visiting critically ill relatives.
III) Holders of valid APEC business travel cards may apply for the M-visa by presenting the original valid APEC business travel card and the invitation letter issued by the inviting party in the mainland of China.
IV) Non-Chinese nationals in the U.K. holding valid Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters and reunion will no longer be affected for entry into China.
2. Please be noted that the above-mentioned visa facilitation applies only to applicants who have been inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines produced in China, having either received two doses of Chinese-made vaccines with the stipulated gap in between, or received a single-dose Chinese-made vaccine at least 14 days prior to the application, and obtained the vaccination certificate.
3. The requirement that personnel intending to travel to China need to present double-negative certificates of nucleic acid and antibody (IgM) tests remains unchanged. The relevant Chinese quarantine policies shall be observed after entering China.
For further enquiries please visit the Chinese Visa Application Service Center's website here.