Beijing Transit approved for 72 hours-No Visa
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Dec 17, 2012 10:27 PM Last Post By: SoloHobo
Sep 16, 2012 7:47 PM
Beijing Transit approved for 72 hours-No VisaOVERSEAS travelers soon will be able to enjoy a visa-free stay of up to 72 hours while in transit in Beijing to attract more tourism spending in the capital city officials said over the weekend Ding Xiangyang vice mayor of Beijing said spending by foreigners is usually three times that of domestic travelers and the new policy of a 72-hour visa-free visit should increase the city s tourism income the Beijing News reported yesterday Experts expect the 72-hour policy to bring 400 million yuan US$63 million to Beijing every year The new policy has been approved by the State Council but no timetable for its introduction was announced At present only a few cities in China including Shanghai allow some overseas travelers to stay for 48 hours In Shanghai nearly 3 000 people enjoyed the 48-hour visa-free period last year an increase of 78 5 percent from 2010 according to Shanghai police The 48-hour policy is available to 32 countries citizens including the US the UK Japan Singapore Germany France Hungary and Switzerland The visa-free policy is expected to be extended to railways and ports next year
Sep 16, 2012 10:04 PM
1Except Beijing Municipality doesn't control immigration (including transit) policy--the Chinese central government does. They say the State Council has approved the idea but so what? We've seen this before, and PSB has objected to implementation. And Public Security trumps Tourism every time. So I'm not seeing how all this makes the world spin any faster on its axis.
Shanghai didn't get to implement 48 hour transit (for some nationalities) on its own--they were allowed to do so from the central government at that time--which was both run by ex-Shanghairen, and favorably disposed to the idea. I'm not seeing the same conditions right now with the current crop of central gov't leadership (in fact just the opposite with the paranoia/xenophobia), and with the upcoming changeover of top brass.
Furthermore, this story has some factual inaccuracies, such as only 3000 people took advantage of 48-hours in Shanghai last year. Poppycock! The number is much higher than that. Also, it lists the UK as among the 32 country-passport holders allowed 48 hours, which we know is incorrect. UK passport holders only get 24 hours. Japanese citizens don't need a visa for visits up to 15 days so their allowance for TWOV is completely moot. It makes me wonder about the accuracy about the rest of the report.
In summary, treat this story as unreliable propaganda, and until there are solid data points that this is actually being implemented in the field, it's best to assume in the foreseeable future, still only 24 hours at PEK. Be careful about basing any travel plans on this until rock solid and more information is known.
Dec 7, 2012 4:03 PM
2It appears to be official now. It's splashed over the press worldwide with the usual smorgasbord of missing or confusing details. It is described as a "visa-free transit" or TWOV, set to become effective 1 January 2013.
Foreign visitors are not permitted to leave Beijing to other Chinese cities during the 72 hours, and have to depart from Beijing.
The 72 hours will be calculated starting from the moment visitors get their transit stay permits, said Gao Dahua, deputy director of the exit and entry administrative corps of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.
Beijing Capital International Airport is the only entry-exit port applicable for the policy, Gao stressed.
The 45 visa-free countries are:
Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.
Dec 7, 2012 5:24 PM
Dec 7, 2012 7:12 PM
4For myself I'd like to wait till it happened. It's three weeks away yet, still time to change it. I have not been able to find a full text from Deputy Director Gao, and as Jiejie observed above, this is Beijing Municipal PSB, not the Central Govt Immigration Service. One report quoted Mr Gao as saying anyone on a TWOV caught outside Beijing would be "banned for life from returning there". Leaving open the possibility that they could still enter other parts of China...
Dec 8, 2012 9:02 PM
5There's enough critical mass now in the press to presume it is a definite plan, starting January 1, 2013. However, until we actually see or have confirmed reports of people getting stamped through for 72 hours, I wouldn't advise people to make inflexible transit plans around this. It's possible that someone high up in security (who has no face to lose) will pour last-minute cold water on this new policy. Again, the security apparatus has the power to override the tourism/commercial apparatus.
If any of the forum regulars/experts (with a visa or Residence Permit and a Mandarin speaker) is scheduled to fly into PEK after January 1, it would be a nice idea to take a few minutes at Immigration and ask at the Special Desk if the 72 hours is actually a "Go." If the answer is yes, I'd say We're in Business for 72 hours. Then report back. I'd offer to do it but I'm out of China with uncertain return date.
I'd be more comfortable advising friends and strangers alike to take advantage of 72 hours of visa-free transit, if I knew for sure that this policy is being honored in real time, without hassles and similar to the current 24 hours.
Dec 15, 2012 10:01 PM
6Foreigners with 72 hours transit free, could leave Beijing or beyond the 72 hours?
72 hour transit visa-free foreigners only on visa-free allowed the stay in Beijing, and from BeiJing Capital Airport departure, cannot leave Beijing or exceed the allowed period of stay. In case of force majeure reasons such as the need to stay in Beijing for more than 72 hours or need to leave Beijing, shall apply to the Public Security Bureau of Beijing City entry-exit administrative department to apply for visa. To stay more than 72 hours, leaving Beijing port of exit from the other provisions did not apply for a visa, found in the Exit-Entry Administration of public security or border checkpoint will be in accordance with the foreigners in China, illegal residence regulations in accordance with the law.
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Dec 16, 2012 11:00 AM
7The intent of the new regulation is to have you stay and see Beijing. Remember that Beijing Municipality--which this extended TWOV effectively covers--is the size of Belgium, and includes much outlying territory surrounding the central city, including multiple parts of the Great Wall. I don't foresee any issues with roaming anywhere in this area, and probably also OK with Jinshanling Great Wall, for which the access technically lies outside Beijing (barely) in Hebei province.
I believe this will be enforceable through accommodation checks. At check-in to any hotel or hostel, all guests' information are automatically sent to the PSB (been this way forever all over China). If you have the TWOV transit stamp in your passport rather than a normal entry stamp connected to a visa, a hotel/hostel outside Beijing municipality could and probably would refuse to admit you. Whether they would go so far as to report you, is unknown.
At any rate, 72 hours in Beijing (out of which you can get maybe 2/3 of that as useable time) doesn't remotely come close to what you need, in order to see everything worthwhile in the city. So there's really no point in trying to go elsewhere. If you want to play the risks, a daytrip on the bullet train to Tianjin and back might be doable, but an overnight or daytrip to Xi'an by plane or train might not be such a good idea.
Remember that the Chinese are essentially gifting foreigners of countries they feel are "low risk," a chance to save a bunch of cash and hassle getting a visa. This is experimental, and can be rescinded. If a lot of foreign travelers decide to abuse the privilege, security officials will give a big "I told you so" to tourism officials, and they will rescind the extended period and everyone will be back to 24 hours' TWOV at most.
Dec 17, 2012 10:27 PM
8They are hoping tourist will spend more money, which will be true for Hotels/Food and Museums etc, but considering the luxury shopping in the Designer Boutiques on all imported clothes cost 20% more than in the North America/EU/Hong Kong/Bangkok/India etc, doubt much will be gained in luxury sector.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$10.15 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$162.44 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$9.30 per night