Are you planning your Beijing Layover Tour? You may think whether you need a transit visa in Beijing? This is the question frequently asked by many travelers who are going to transit in Beijing and cintinue to fly a third country. Yes, basically you need a Chinese visa to visit Beijing if you want to exit from Beijing Capital Airport for a few hour’s layover tour or 2 or 3 days short stay in Beijing. But from January 01, 2013, 45 countries are entiltled to 72 hours free visa transit stay in Beijing. So Visa-free travel to Beijing is possible now! Which are the 45 countries and what the preconditions for getting the free visa transit stay permit in Beijing? I will answer your questions one by one.
1. Prerequisites for getting the 72 hours transit free visa
1) The Eligible 45 nationalities include:
24 Schengen Countries in Europe:
Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, The Slovak Republic, The Republic of Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Other 7 Countries in Europe:
Russia, The United Kingdom Northern Ireland, Ireland, The Republic of Cyprus, The Republic of Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine.
6 American Countries:
The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile.
2 countries from Oceania;
Australia, New Zealand
6 Asian Countries:
Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates.
2) Travelers must have valid passports.
3) Travelers must have confirmed tickets to a third country or regions (Hong Kong and Macau).
4) Foreign airlines must contact Beijing Entry Frontier General Office to apply for 72 hours free transit visa for their passengers.
1) The 72 hours transit free visa policy is not applicable to Beijing Railway Stations and Tianjin Cruise Port.
2) Passengers who transit in Beijing and fly to Hong Kong or Macau are also entitled to 72 hours transit free visa.
3) Travelers must register with police within 24 hours of arrival ( Your hotel wil do this for you.).
4) Travellers would “face punishment” if they left the administrative region of Beijing to other places in China during the 72 hours free-visa stay in Beijing.
2. Frontier Inspection Procedure for 72 Hours Transit Free-Visa Foreigners
1. The airline should send an email in advance to Beijing Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection Station to apply for transit visa for their passengers.
2. Whan arriving at Beijing airport, passengers should have valid passports, tickets to a third country and go to the special counters set for foreigners who apply for 72 hours transit free visa.
3. Passengers must register and fill up the forms.
4. Passengers will have two seals on their passports - Entry Permit Seal and Entry Inspection Seal.
5. When exit from Beijing, passengers will have their passports checked and have exit-seals from Frontier Inspection.
3. 72 Hours Transit Visa Regulations for Foreigners
1) Eligible foreigners should stay in Beijing and exit from Beijing Capital Airport. If you have to extend your 72-hour stay in Beijing due to force majeure, you should apply for a Chinese visa though Beijing Security Bureau.
2) For overdue-stay foreigners, the frontier inspection station will act according to the regulations on illegal stay of foreigners in China.
Frequently Asked Questions on th 72 Hour Transit Free Visa
Q: You say Foreign airlines must contact Beijing Entry Frontier General Office to apply for the 72 hours free transit visa for their passengers. How should I proceed if I arrive in Beijing with airline company A and leave from Beijing with airline company B, thus another company.
A: You just ask your Company A to arrange your application for the 72 hours free-visa stay in Beijing.
Q: Can I purchase my ticket to the third coutry after my entry Beijing?
A: No, you should have a confirmed air-ticket to the third country when you apply for the 72 hours transit free-visa.
Q: Can I have a 72 hours transit free visa if I enter Beijing through Beijing Railway Stations or Tianjin Cruise Port?
A: No, Beijing Capital Airport is the only Entry & Exit Port for 72 hours free-visa stay passengers.
Q: If I fly to Beijing and return to my home country or starting country, can I enjoy the free-visa policy?
A: No, only those who fly to a third country will be entitled to the 72 hours transit free-visa policy.
Q: After finishing the process for getting the transit free-visa in Beijing, can I leave Beijing’s administrative area?
A: No, you are not allowed to leave Beijing’s administrative area. If you have to exit from Beijing’s administrative area due to force majeure, you should apply for a Chinese visa via Beijing Security Bureau.
Q: If I cannot exit from Beijing within 72 hours due to special reasons, what can I do?
A: You are going to stay in Beijing over 72 hours due to force majeure, you should apply for a Chinese visa through Beijing Security Bureau.
Foreigners Section of the Public Security Bureau in Beijing
Add: 2 Dongdajie, Andingmen, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Visa inquires: 0086 10 84020101
Q: After I finishing my procedure of getting 72 hours transit free visa, can I apply for exit from Shanghai since the 72 hours transit free visa is alao applicable to Shanghai?
A: No, you should exit from Beijing airport and you cannot take a domestic flight for Shanghai.
Q: If I have further requests, what can I do?
A: If you have any questions on entry and exit, please contact Beijing Exit and Entry Inspection Station: 0086 10 56095400 (24 hours).
Any questions, just drop a line.