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  Q&A for visa-free transit application in Beijing  
2014-04-02 13:33:03

Q:What requirements foreign nationals have to meet to apply for the 72-hour transit visa exemption at ports of entry in Beijing?

Answer: There are 3 requirements: 1) Citizens from the 45 countries under the 72-hour Transit Visa Exemption Program; 2) Foreign nationals with valid international traveling documents and air ticket for a connecting flight with confirmed date of flight and seat for a third country (region) traveling within 72 hours; 3) Transit passengers from the Capital Airport of Beijing for a third country (region).

Q:Travelers from what countries may apply for the 72-hour transit visa exemption? How are the countries chosen?

A: Travelers from the 45 countries may apply for the 72-hour transit visa exemption, which are: 1) 24 Schengen countries in Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland, Poland, Portugal, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 2) 7 other European countries:Russia, Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. 6 American countries: The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile. 4) 2 Oceanian countries: Australia and New Zealand. 5) 6 Asian countries: Republic ofKorea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. The above 45 countries are chosen on the basis of the figures of foreign travelers' entry, stopover and accommodations in Beijing and Shanghai in recent years.

Q:How can a foreign national that meets the requirements for the 72-hour transit visa exemption apply for it?

A: A foreign national that meets the requirements may submit his/her request to the airline company that carries him/her to Beijing or Shanghai, which shall make the application to the border control authorities of the Beijing or Shanghai airports that shall grant a temporary entry of a passenger meeting the requirements for transit visa exemption upon verification.

Q: Can foreigners from eligible countries apply for a 72-hour visa-free transit in Beijing if they have yet to buy a plane ticket heading to a third-party country when arriving in Beijing but they planned to buy a ticket after arriving?

A: According to the policy, foreigners must have a ticket departing to a third-party country before arriving in Beijing if they want to apply for a 72 hour visa-free transit.

Q: Can foreigners from eligible countries arrive in Beijing from the Beijing West Railway Station and leave by air within 72 hours?

A: The policy applies only to travelers arriving and departing Beijing from the Beijing Capital International Airport.

Q: Can foreigners from eligible countries apply for the 72-hour visa if they have booked a ticket to return to their home countries?

A: The policy only applies to foreigners who plan to head for a third-party country instead of their home countries.

Q: Can foreigners leave the administrative area of Beijing after applying for a visa-free transit?

A: Foreigners who apply for the visa-free transit shall not leave Beijing’s administrative area. They must apply for a visa if they have to leave Beijing due to uncontrollable circumstances.

Q: As for foreigners who are granted a visa-free transit, what can they do if a situation arises that prevents them from departing Beijing within the 72-hour period due to uncontrollable circumstances?

A: Foreigners who are granted a visa-free transit must leave within the permitted time frame. But for those who have to stay in Beijing for more than 72 hours because of unplanned circumstances, they must apply to the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau for a visa to prolong their stay.

Q: It has been reported that Shanghai airports have also adopted the same policy. Can foreigners who are permitted with a visa-free transit in Beijing apply to leave China from Shanghai’s airports?

A: Foreigners who are permitted with a visa-free transit in Beijing cannot leave the city and they must leave China from Beijing within 72 hours.

Q: Which department can people consult to if they have questions about border inspection measures?

A: Regarding procedures or any questions related to border inspection, passengers can call 5609-5400, a hotline for the Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection or log on its official website at www.bjbj.gov.cn or enquire from its Sina Weibo account.

Tips for visa-free transit tours in Beijing

1. If visiting foreigners do not stay at a hotel then they must register at the local public security bureau within 24 hours after arriving at their living destination.

2. Foreigners must bring their passports with them for any examinations.

3. Foreigners in China can dial 110 for help in emergency situations.

4. As for foreigners who have been granted a visa-free transit, they must apply for a related visa at the General Administration for Entry and Exit Control at the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau if they need to stay in Beijing over 72 hours due to unplanned circumstances. The bureau’s address is No.2, Andingmen East Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing.


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