There is a new 72-hour visa free stay policy, which has been effected since Jan 1st 2013, allowing people who need to transit in Beijing or Shanghai a more convenient way to have a short exploration of them. This policy amis to boost the tourism of China and also benefit the tourists who want to travel in China and make their journey more efficient.
3 Airports for apply this policy:
Beijing Capital Airport
Shanghai Hongqiao airport
Shanghai Pudong Airport
Detailed information about this new policy:
Who have the qualification to apply for a 72-hour visa-free stay in Beijing or Shanghai?
The transit travellers who want to apply the 72-hour visa-free stay must hold visas to the third country and a connecting air ticket of leaving Beijing capital airport or Shanghai pudong airport or Shanghai hongqiao airport within 72 hours. The ticket should have confirmed date and seat or related certificates that ensure he/she just stay in Beijing or Shanghai within 72 hours. That means he/she should prepare the air ticket of leaving Beijing/Shanghai before entering into Beijing.
Uo to now, the citizens of 45 countries as following can enjoy this transit visa-free stay right:
EU (24 countries): Austria, Belgium, the Czech republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,
Europe (7 countries): Russia, Britain, Ireland, drought-stricken Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine
America (6 countries): the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile
Oceania (2 countries): Australia, New Zealand
Asia (6 countries): South Korea, Japan, Singapore, brunei, the united Arab emirates, Qatar
It is necessary for you to confirm your airport leaving ticket before arrival Beijing/Shanghai, or you will be rejected to apply the visa-free right.
The 72-hours visa free time is valid since you finish the visa-free procedure but not the arriving time of your plane to Beijing
Where can I get the transit stay permits?
What you need to do to get the transit permits is that you have to resiger at the police station with your visas within 24 hours of your arrival at the authorized airports, the only entry-exit applicable for the policy. And the 72 hours will be calculated starting from the moment you get the transit stay permit.
How to apply this stay permit?
You can ask for help from the staff of your international airline which transit in Beijing or Shanghai when you are citizens in one of the above mentioned countries. The staff will help handle this application by reporting to related airport immigration control departments in Beijing or Shanghai. After checking about your situation, they will inform you whether you apply successful or not timely.
Which cities you can stay during this 72 hours?
Only Beijing or Shanghai is legal for you to walk around during this 72 hours, or you will be regarded as illegal immigration if you beyond the cities.
Another important thing should have your attention is you only can stay either Beijing or Shanghai. That means if your international flight arrival Beijing, you should hold Beijing leaving ticket. If arrival Shanghai, Shanghai leaving ticket only.
Could I hold round air ticket to apply this permit?
The answer is no. Only those who have tickets to the third country can apply this permit. That is to say, if you hold a air ticket fly from New York (US) and transit in Beijing and then to L.A. (US), you could not apply this permit.
Could I take train to Beijing or Shanghai and then leaving by flight?
No, this policy is only feasible in Beijing capital airport, Shanghai hongqiao/pudong airport.
Related department official telephone number
Beijing immigration control office: 86-10-56095400
Shanghai immigration control office: 86-21-51105100