Visa requirements for China?

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Visa requirements for China?

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1. Posted by Qokoon (Budding Member 31 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Hi guys,

I wanted to find out if there are any Visa requirements for Americans traveling to China. I read somewhere that if you are just passing through Shanghai or Beijing, you do not need a Visa if you don't exceed 72 hours.

I was thinking of maybe entering through Beijing, then visiting Hong Kong and then finally Shanghai to exit. That way if the 72 hour window is true I won't need a Visa.

Thoughts? Experienced knowledge?

Please advise!

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1796 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

The visa-free rules are quite limited and are to encourage stopovers.

For instance your onward flight must be to a different country to the originating country.

I don't think this will work but I can't immediately find the full rules. I'm sure someone will though...

3. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1796 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

I've done a bit more digging now I'm at a PC rather than on a phone.

I've found:
http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/zgqz/#3
"A foreign citizen who is transiting through China by air is exempted from a visa if he/she will stay only in the airport for no more than 24 hours and has a valid connecting ticket with confirmed seating on an international flight.

Citizens with passport or other international travel document, confirmed interline ticket and valid visa to the third country or region (if required) of the following 51 countries, can apply to stay in the transit cities without visa for 72 hours on direct transit via the following airports: PEK, PVG, SHA, CAN, CTU,CKG, SHE, DLC, XIY,HGH,KWL,KMG. (For more info, please check the airports' websites)"

Unhelpfully, the Beijing and SHanghai airport websites make no mention of it.

You mentioned you're passing through - where are you en route to? HK?

Post 4 was removed by a moderator
5. Posted by Qokoon (Budding Member 31 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

I've done a bit more digging now I'm at a PC rather than on a phone.

I've found:
http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/zgqz/#3
"A foreign citizen who is transiting through China by air is exempted from a visa if he/she will stay only in the airport for no more than 24 hours and has a valid connecting ticket with confirmed seating on an international flight.

Citizens with passport or other international travel document, confirmed interline ticket and valid visa to the third country or region (if required) of the following 51 countries, can apply to stay in the transit cities without visa for 72 hours on direct transit via the following airports: PEK, PVG, SHA, CAN, CTU,CKG, SHE, DLC, XIY,HGH,KWL,KMG. (For more info, please check the airports' websites)"

Unhelpfully, the Beijing and SHanghai airport websites make no mention of it.

You mentioned you're passing through - where are you en route to? HK?

Hi Andy

Thank you so much for responding.

I have friends in Hong Kong. So I figured to go in through Shanghai then head to Hong Kong and then from there go to Beijing and exit through there or viceversa so that I can get to see those cities as well without the Visa.

6. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1068 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

I've done a bit more digging now I'm at a PC rather than on a phone.

I've found:
http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/zgqz/#3
"A foreign citizen who is transiting through China by air is exempted from a visa if he/she will stay only in the airport for no more than 24 hours and has a valid connecting ticket with confirmed seating on an international flight.

Citizens with passport or other international travel document, confirmed interline ticket and valid visa to the third country or region (if required) of the following 51 countries, can apply to stay in the transit cities without visa for 72 hours on direct transit via the following airports: PEK, PVG, SHA, CAN, CTU,CKG, SHE, DLC, XIY,HGH,KWL,KMG. (For more info, please check the airports' websites)"

Unhelpfully, the Beijing and SHanghai airport websites make no mention of it.

You mentioned you're passing through - where are you en route to? HK?

We are going to be spending a few days in Beijing en route to N Korea in September and have been advised that we don't need a visa because we are flying into Beijing from outside the country (from London) and leaving to go to another country (N Korea). In your case however, you are going from Beijing to Hong Kong, and from Hong Kong to Shanghai. Since Hong Kong is technically in China, I believe you may need a visa. But I'm not an expert so I suggest you ask the embassy.

By the way, the 72 hour limit is being extended to 144 hours, but that still won't help you if Hong Kong is regarded as an internal flight.

7. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1796 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ToonSarah

Since Hong Kong is technically in China, I believe you may need a visa. But I'm not an expert so I suggest you ask the embassy.

That's my concern too. The material I can find is very unclear on the issue and seems prone to changes.

8. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1402 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ToonSarah

We are going to be spending a few days in Beijing en route to N Korea in September .....

Brilliant - I'll be looking for some hints and tips from you when you come back. NK's on the list for next April.

9. Posted by UliS (Travel Guru 133 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

From Hongkong to Shanghai you can get 144 hours stay in Shanghai including 2 surrounding provinces (for Hangzhou and Suzhou) If you have a ticket out of China. You can use the highspeed train Hongkong to Shanghai or by plane to Shanghai, Nanjing or Hangzhou airports.
https://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/shanghai/144hours-visa-free.htm

10. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1068 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Borisborough

Quoting ToonSarah

We are going to be spending a few days in Beijing en route to N Korea in September .....

Brilliant - I'll be looking for some hints and tips from you when you come back. NK's on the list for next April.

I’ll be happy to help, and will be blogging for sure on my return.