Flying from YVR to China can cost over $22K – even with a visa

Prices for flights to China continue to skyrocket after the Chinese embassy changes visa requirements for Canadians traveling to China for business, work and family.

Prices for flights to China continue to skyrocket after the Chinese embassy changes visa requirements for Canadians traveling to China for business, work and family.

Google Flights shows that by the end of June, the average price for a one-way ticket to mainland China will cost about $7,000. On the higher end, tickets can go over $22,000.

Benjamin Liu, who immigrated to Richmond from China 14 years ago, said the price is “insanely expensive.”

Liu told the news that, before the pandemic, the cheapest round-trip ticket he could get was just $800 and the average price was about $1,500.

“The average annual salary in Vancouver is about $50-60,000,” said Liu, “If a one-way ticket could cost $22,000, that’s almost a third of the annual salary for regular people!”

“How much money is left after they buy return tickets?”

Ticket prices continued to rise after the Chinese embassy in Canada released a statement on June 16 saying it was adjusting visa requirements.

According to its website, from June 20, foreigners can apply for a Trade and Trade Visa (M) or Visitor Visa (F) with an official letter of invitation from the Chinese authorities. An invitation letter is no longer required for an application for a work visa (Z).

Canadians who have immediate family members living or working in China can now apply for a family visa (S1/S2 and Q1/Q2). However, the applications for a tourist visa are not yet open.

According to the China Visa Application Center, visas issued after these recent changes are normally a single-entry visa that is valid for only three months. People in possession of a valid multi-entry visa issued before March 2020 will not be able to use it to enter China – meaning they will have to apply for a new visa.

It has been more than two years since China suspended entry for foreigners with valid visas or residence permits and stopped accepting new visa applications for non-emergency purposes.

Before the recent changes in June, Canadians who had relatives in China could only apply for a visa if there was a “humanitarian emergency,” such as a dying family member. But these applications were not guaranteed to be accepted.

Thanks to recent policies, they can finally plan a family reunion after two years of separation.

“Even if the price of the tickets skyrockets, people will buy it if they have an emergency in their family in China and need to return,” said David Lin, president of GS Travel, a Richmond-based travel agency that formerly focused on China. market.

Lin told the news that the heart problem of sky-high tickets is the imbalance between supply and demand.

The pent-up demand to return to China for family visits is huge, but China has demanded airlines to suspend flights or limit seat capacity if more than five passengers are confirmed with COVID, making combat tickets to China even rarer and more expensive.

The strict international flight restrictions are being implemented to maintain China’s “dynamic zero COVID” approach. According to a recent announcement from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, a total of 1,679 international flights have been canceled since 2020.

“I choose to stay in Richmond this year,” said Liu, “Hopefully I can go back to China next year to visit my family when the ticket price returns to normal.”

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