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China 72-hour Visa-free FAQs

From Jan. 1, 2014, visitors from 51 countries can benefit from China 72-hour Visa-free Stay policy in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xi'an, Kunming, Chongqing, Shenyang, Dalian, Guilin, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Xiamen, Tianjin.

The following questions are frequently asked questions about visa-free. Read carefully and plan how to spend your 72-hour short stay and travel in these cities.

Please read the official Beijing 72-hour visa-free transit policy at

Q1. From which countries, the citizens can apply for “72-Hour Visa-free Transit”?

From Jan. 1th, 2014, passport holders from the following 51 countries will enjoy 72-Hour Visa-free Transit.

(1) 24 European countries with Schengen Visa: 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;

(2) 7 Other European countries: Russia, England, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbi, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania;

(3) 6 American countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile;

(4) 2 Oceania countries: Australia, New Zealand;

(5) 6 Asian countries: South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar.

Q2. What requirements foreigners have to meet to apply for visa-free?

(1) Holding valid international travel documents that can prove their nationality and identity;

(2) Qualified for the entry requirements of their destination country;

(3) Holding valid air tickets or arrangements with specific dates and seat numbers which prove they will make transit via Beijing Capital International Airport to the third country or region within 72 hours;

(4) Being reported to China’s exit-entry frontier inspection authorities by their airline companies.

Q3. Where can I apply for visa-free?

Beijing Capital International Airport has taken various measures to ensure quick transit registration procedures, designating more staff to provide transit passengers with the necessary instructions, and installing signs to guide the flow of transit passengers. A special service area for these passengers has been arranged, offering drinking water and reading materials for those who do not plan to leave the airport.

Q4. What documents should I summit when I apply for visa-free?

Your valid passport or travel documents, as well as the confirmed flight ticket onward to the third country or region and valid visa (if required).

Q5. How can I apply for the Visa-free if I plan to go out of the airport during my stopover?

You can put forward your request for transit to your airline in advance, so that the airline can declare this to the Immigration Inspection prior to your visit. You will be granted a transit permit at the airport if you meet all requirements.

Q6. Is the 72-Hour limit in the “72-Hour Visa-free Transit” calculated by starting with the entry time?

According to the latest information from the airports, the 72 hours are calculated from the time lag between departure time and arrival time on your ticket. However, if you happen to transfer in Beijing, you had better consult the airport in advance by dialing 0086-10-56095400, just in case that the 72-hour period counts from the scheduled arrival time to the departure time.

Q7. When shall I apply for the Visa-free?

You should apply for the 72-Hour Visa-free Transit when you arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport.

Q8. After applying for this Visa-free, shall I register in a police station in the 24 hours?

It is not necessary to register yourself personally at the local police station. But the registration will be done when you check into a hotel.

Q9. Can I enjoy the Visa-free if I enter Beijing first and then buy ticket to another country within 72 hours?

According to the requirements, you must provide confirmed ticket to the third country or region when apply for the free transit permit. Otherwise, you can not enjoy 72-Hour Visa-free Transit policy.

Q10. Can I apply the Visa-free when entering China by train arriving at Beijing West Railway Station, and leave Beijing by plane within 72 hours?

No. Application for the 72-Hour Visa-free Transit policy can be made only at Beijing Capital International Airport.

Q11. Can I apply for visa-free if I hold a return ticket from the country where I boarded the flight before my entry to China?

The 72-Hour Visa-free Transit policy is limited to people who transit from Beijing to a third country. Therefore, passengers who depart from and return to the same country are not eligible to apply for the visa.

Q12. Which cities in China unveiled the 72-Hour Visa-free Transit policy?

So far, Beijing, followed by Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, has unveiled the 72-Hour Visa-free Transit policy.

Q13. Can I transit flight from Beijing to other Visa-free cities in China and then to the third country in 72 hours?

No. According to the requirements, if you can enjoy the Beijing 72-Hour Visa-free Transit policy, you can not leave Beijing to other China cities, and must leave China from Beijing Capital International Airport.

Q14. Can I leave Beijing to other China city or stay over 72 hours when I have the Visa-free?

No. During the 72-Hour Visa-free Transit, passengers must stay in Beijing, and then leave China from Beijing Capital International Airport.

Leaving Beijing or staying longer than 72 hours is not allowed. If a stay in Beijing of over 72 hours is required, application is needed for a China visa through Entry-Exit Administration Department of Beijing Municipality Public Security Bureau.

Overstaying or leaving Beijing from other ports without a China visa will be handled according to relevant laws and regulations and penalties are severe.

Q15. Due to force majeure, I must stay in China for over 72 hours. How can I do?

Due to force majeure, the foreign passengers who haves 72-Hour Visa-free Transit must stay in China for over 72 hours. They must apply for Chinese visas at Entry Management Office at Beijing Public Security Bureau.

Address: No. 2 East Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Q16. Can I not have security check and inspection if I have applied for 72-Hour Visa-free Transit?

No, all visitors who enjoy 72-Hour Visa-free Transit are required to go through security check and inspection. To avoid the spread of epidemics, inspection and quarantine department at the port will set up special channels for fast and efficient passing of 72-Hour Visa-free Transit, and will use methods like infrared temperature monitoring and X-ray screening.

Q17. I am a French citizen who stays in South Korea. Can I apply visa-free in Beijing if I travel to and from South Korea?

No. Beijing 72-hour visa-free transit is not eligible for your case. You must apply for a valid Chinese visa before traveling to Beijing. Or, if you fly to the third country from Beijing, then you are applicable for this type of visa.

Q18. Can I bring pets when entering China on this visa?

Yes, you can. However, pets belonging to your on 72-Hour Visa-free Transit entry are subject to inspection and quarantine in the place specified by the inspection and quarantine unit. When you leave China, your pets must exit under supervision by inspection and quarantine staff.

Assistance dogs such as guide dogs and hearing dogs carried into China by 72-Hour Visa-free Transit foreigners can accompany the 72-Hour Visa-free Transit foreigners during their stay, provided that they pass airport inspection and carry the necessary valid certificates. When 72-Hour Visa-free Transit foreigners leave China, their assistance dogs must exit at the same time with them under supervision by inspection and quarantine staff.

Q19. Where could I get more information about the immigration inspection policy?

You may call the 24-hour hotline of Beijing Immigration Inspection through the number of 56095400, or log on their official website for more information.

Most Popular Visa-free Transit Tours in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou

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