Beijing 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit FAQ
You may have read about the 144 hour visa-free transit program in China which is available at 18 city airports. Most of the rules and regulations applying to the visa-exempt transit are the same in all of the cities but there are a few nuances which apply only to Beijing and it is worth taking a look at the FAQs about this special program.
Which travelers can obtain a visa-exempt transit?
If you are a citizen of any of the 51 countries included in the visa-free program you are eligible for this transit. You also need to be coming from one country; transiting in Beijing and traveling on to a third country. In other words you cannot get the visa-free transit if you are coming from one country, transiting in Beijing and returning to the same country. You must come from a first Country; to Beijing (the second country) and travel to the third country within 72 hours.
What will you need to obtain the 72 hour transit in Beijing?
You must be a citizen of one of the 51 countries included in the program; you must have a valid foreign passport and air ticket for your connecting flight with a date and seat confirmed leaving Beijing Capital International Airport within 72 hours.
What are the required documents for receiving a visa-free 72 hours in Beijing?
Valid foreign passport.
Visa for your final destination (if required by that country).
Arrival/Departure Card for China.
Air ticket proving that you have booked and confirmed your outbound flight from Beijing Capital International Airport.
What is the procedure for obtaining a 72 hour transit in Beijing?
On your flight into Beijing you will be given an Arrival/Departure Card to fill in. Once you land in Beijing and are approaching the immigration inspection authority you should look for the desk with a sign saying “72 hour visa free transit passenger.” Here you will be required to fill in an application form and hand over your passport. Your application form, passport and departure air ticket is taken and examined by the authorities and if eligible your passport is stamped with the 72 hour transit stamp. Then you pass through passport control, collect your luggage and can leave the airport.
Which 51 countries are part of the program for 72 hour transfer without a visa?
Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland and Slovakia, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland and Slovakia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, UAE, Qatar and Brunei. If you are a citizen of any of the above mentioned countries you can apply for a 72 hour visa-free transit in Beijing.
How do you apply for a transit without visa in Beijing?
The only entrance point in Beijing where you can obtain a visa-exempt transit is the Beijing Capital International Airport and you are required to enter China and depart China from the same point on the visa-free transit.
Do I have to have my outgoing air ticket to a third country booked to leave Beijing before I arrive in China?
Yes. Your outbound ticket must have been bought before you fly to China.
Where can I go on my 72 hours in Beijing?
When transiting with a 72 hour visa- exempt transit in Beijing Capital International Airport you are required to stay within the city’s administrative area for the entire 72 hour period.
Can I visit the Great Wall of China on a 72 hour transit in Beijing?
Yes, the Wall is within the permitted area.
Can I visit the Forbidden City on this visa program in Beijing?
Yes, the Forbidden City is in the center of Beijing.
What about visiting Tianjin or Hebei Province on a visa-exempt transit obtained at Beijing Airport?
No, these areas are outside of the Beijing Municipal area.
What if I want to go outside the municipal administrative area?
The visa-free program is only eligible for those staying within the municipal area of the city. If you want to leave that area you will have to apply to the exit-entry administration department of the Beijing public security authorities for a different type of visa.
How is the time calculated for my stay in Beijing?
Unlike the other visa-free transit cities Beijing has different rules in regards to how the 72 hours are calculated. When arriving in Beijing Airport the 72 hours is calculated from the time of your arrival to the time of your departure. In other words if you arrive at 10am on February 6th you must leave by 10am on February 9th. In other cities operating the free-visa program the 72 hours is counted from midnight of the day after you arrive in China. If you are arriving in Beijing Capital International Airport and your transit flight out of China is after 72 hours then this program is not applicable to you.
What if I am detained or delayed in Beijing and can’t leave within the 72 hours?
If for some reason you are unable to leave China within 72 hours then you should contact Beijing’s PSB as soon as possible to arrange a new visa. If you fail to arrange a new visa after the 72 hours you will be in China illegally. Failure to comply with visa regulations may result in future visa applications being denied.
Can I land in Beijing Airport and depart from a different airport, train station or port?
No. This program requires that you enter and exit the country from the same point and only applies to airports (except in Shanghai).
Can I get the 72 hour visa-exempt transit if I am arriving in Beijing by train?
No. This program in Beijing only applies for entrance and departure from Beijing Airport.
What if my stopover is less than 24 hours?
If your stopover in Beijing Capital International Airport is for less than 24 hours and you are not planning to leave the airport then you do not need a visa. You will not pass through border control; not leave the airport and must have a booked and confirmed flight scheduled to leave Beijing airport within the 24 hours. This rule applies to travelers from all countries, not just the 51 nations listed and is called “direct transit.”
Can I fly into Beijing from a different city in China and still get the visa-free transit?
No. The program applies only to transits from a different country via China to a third country. No stopovers with China are allowed on a visa-free transit. In other words you could not fly Singapore-Xian-Beijing-Australia and get a 72 hour visa-free transit.
What if I am coming from or going to Macau, Taiwan or Hong Kong?
For visa purposes Macau, Taiwan and Hong Kong are considered a third region/country so that you can get the visa-free transit if you are flying into Beijing from one of these places or flying out of Beijing to one of these places. In other words you could fly Singapore-Beijing-Hong Kong and be eligible for the transit in Beijing.
What about customs rules on a 72 hour visa-free transit?
Customs regulations apply as for any visitor to China.
Where can I get more information about the visa-free transit program in Beijing?
Contact the 24 hour hotline of Beijing Immigration Inspection on 560954400 or visit their website at www.bjbj.gov.
Phone Call +86-138-1156-0776
Text Msg +86-138-1156-0776