China 72-Hours Visa Free Policy

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Good news for tourists who want to visit Beijing but do not want to bother with applying for a Chinese visa: A 72-hours visa-free visit for foreign visitors from 45 countries who have outbound air tickets and visas to a third country, starting January 1st, 2013.

The 72-hour visa-free transit policy in China allows air passengers from 53 countries to transit and stay for up to 72 hours (3 days) in 18 China cities without a visa. In order to facilitate international visitors’ short stay in China, the policy is promising to be carried out in more and more cities in the future.

Qualified Countries

24 Schengen Agreement Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

15 Other European Countries: Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, Monaco

6 American Countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile

2 Oceania Countries: Australia, New Zealand

6 Asian Countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar

Areas Allowed to Stay

Cities only with the 72-hour free entry policy:

Passengers transiting in Guangzhou, Chengdu, Qingdao, or Changsha are allowed to travel in the whole province.

Passengers transiting in Chongqing, Harbin, Guilin, Kunming, Wuhan, or Xiamen cannot leave the transit city.

Passengers stopping over in Dalian or Shenyang can travel in these two cities.

Passengers transiting in Xian Xianyang Airport are permitted to travel in Xian and Xianyang.

Cities with both the 72-hour and 144-hour transit without visa (TWOV):

Passengers transiting in Shanghai, Zhejiang, or Jiangsu can move around the three places. With the implementation of the 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy, they can actually stay for as long as 144 hours.

Passengers transiting in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei can also move around the three places freely for 144 hours.

Documents for Application

– Valid passport

– Visa for a third country or region

– A full completed Arrival/Departure Card (including name, nationality, passport no., visa no. & issuance place, flight no., purpose of visit, date of birth, gender)

– An onward ticket with confirmed seat are needed

Procedure

Inform the airlines when boarding – Fill an Arrival/Departure Card on the flight – Apply the 72-hour permit – Claim the luggage – Go through the custom – Leave airport

Tips:

1. It is necessary to inform the airline at check-in, so that they can declare your request to the airport custom before landing. Passengers transiting via Beijing Capital International Airport can apply for this free transit permit after arrival.

2. There is a special counter/lane for the 72-hour free transit at the immigration, so passengers can go there directly by following the signs. For example, the immigration channels 2 to 4 are for 72-hour TWOV passengers in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.

3. After the request to enjoy the 72-hour China TWOV is approved, the officer will stamp a stay permit on your passport. The duration of stay is written on the passport. Remember to tell the officer that one wants to use the 72-hour free transit if he/she already has a valid visa for China.

4. After leaving the airport, remember to register at local police station within 24 hours of arrival if one wants to stay over 24 hours. Those who live with family or friends need to go to register in person at the police station with relatives or friends. Those who live in hotels do not need to go, because the hotels will do it for the guests.

5. If visitors are unable to depart on time due to unavoidable reasons, such as flight cancellation or treatment of sudden disease, they need to apply for a visa from Municipal Public Security Bureau (PSB). Otherwise, tourists cannot apply for an extension of stay.

 

** Please be advised that if you have recently travelled to Turkey, or you are a Turkish citizen, it is possible that your Chinese visa will not be approved. Please contact your local embassy for further information. **