taichen
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Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:23 pm

Beijing will start a 72-hour visa-free stay policy for citizens of 45 countries from Jan. 1, 2013, municipal authorities said Wednesday.

Tourists holding third country visas and plane tickets can apply for a transit without visa (TWOV) in the capital city at Beijing Capital International Airport.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-12/06/c_132023475.htm

I guess this will mostly benefit Air China ...
 
seansasLCY
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:35 pm

This is brilliant news. Will save me a lot of money. I wonder if I fly into Beijing and then out from say Tianjin it is still allowed?
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:40 pm

This is a good way to encourage more visitors to stop over. I just wish they'd start doing a proper visa on arrival for tourists/business people. Having to get a visa in advance is really quite frustrating (and expensive).

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EBGflyer
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:48 pm

Quoting taichen (Thread starter):
I guess this will mostly benefit Air China ...

Great news. I have been waiting for the announcement since I heard the rumors back in September.

I think this could be a benefit more than just Air China, particularly LCC's like Jetstar. Flights are usually pretty cheap flying from Europe into PEK, but it's a pain with visas. Flying myself with SU to PEK in a few weeks and leave with Jetstar. The new visa provisions could have been helpful to me. Had to get a visa for 65 Hours in Beijing!!
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JU068
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:51 pm

So are these the first ones to be granted visa-free transit regime or were there some other countries before?
 
Tdan
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:54 pm

It's a good start, but the real question is whether or not PEK will start allowing sterile connectivity to/from international flights. This is really key as minimum connect times will come in line with other large hub airports and would increase the viability of many many more long-haul destinations.
We will ride this thunderbird, silver shadows on the earth, a thousand leagues away our land of birth... -Captain Bruce
 
EBGflyer
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:55 pm

Quoting seansasLCY (Reply 1):
I wonder if I fly into Beijing and then out from say Tianjin it is still allowed?

According to this article, no!

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-12/05/c_124053375.htm

The article also says the following:
"According to Ji, visitors have to register at a police station with their visas within 24 hours of their arrival."

I wonder how that will work. So after having obtained TWOV and proceeding through immigration, tourists then have to pass by a policestation within 24 hours?

[Edited 2012-12-06 06:59:12]
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seansasLCY
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:00 pm

Still could be very useful. I'm hoping to do the trip to North Korea so that would come in helpful. Will there be a charge?
 
justinlee
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:17 pm

Quoting EBGflyer (Reply 6):
"According to Ji, visitors have to register at a police station with their visas within 24 hours of their arrival."

I wonder how that will work. So after having obtained TWOV and proceeding through immigration, tourists then have to pass by a policestation within 24 hours?

I checked the chinese version of this report. It means that if you choose to live in other people's apartment, you need to register in a nearby police station. That will not be an issue if you choose to live in a hotel because you are automatically registered during the hotel check-in。
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:20 pm

Excellent news! I guess PEK can potentially join NRT and ICN as a transit point from the US to Asia for non-China destinations.
It is what it is...
 
EBGflyer
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:46 pm

Quoting justinlee (Reply 8):
That will not be an issue if you choose to live in a hotel because you are automatically registered during the hotel check-in

Interesting. So is the hotel registration in China more extensive than other places and are they required to report to the authorities?
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justinlee
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:58 pm

Quoting EBGflyer (Reply 10):
Interesting. So is the hotel registration in China more extensive than other places and are they required to report to the authorities?

Kind of, fake ID is a serious problem in China. For Chinese, our ID card actually has an RFID chip in it. When you check in an hotel, you will be required to show your ID. The checkin agent will scan your ID card on RFID reader linked to the public security database in order to check whether your ID is faked or not. I don't know how it works for foreigners but I think the system is still the same.
 
EBGflyer
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:23 pm

Quoting justinlee (Reply 11):
For Chinese, our ID card actually has an RFID chip in it. When you check in an hotel, you will be required to show your ID. The checkin agent will scan your ID card on RFID reader linked to the public security database in order to check whether your ID is faked or not. I don't know how it works for foreigners but I think the system is still the same

Makes sense, but I suppose nartional ID's are also standardized. It would be a little different with foreign passports. I'm wondering also whether they would register lack of registration in a hotel.

No matter what.. Still a good move  
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LAXintl
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:22 pm

Good news. I suppose especially good news for CA which makes their PEK hub a bit more enticing.

For info Shanghai has had a 48-hour scheme for a few years now on transit passengers.

Quoting EBGflyer (Reply 10):
Interesting. So is the hotel registration in China more extensive than other places and are they required to report to the authorities?

Maybe you are not aware, but hotel registrations are supplied to authorities in many nations around the the world. From France, to Turkey, to Singapore to Chine etc..

Back before computers it was common for police to drop in and manually review hotel registration cards at the front desk. Now info is digitally transmitted.
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EBGflyer
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:46 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 13):
Back before computers it was common for police to drop in and manually review hotel registration cards at the front desk. Now info is digitally transmitted.

Yeah, I guess that makes sense. I'm aware that registrations are used for such things. Just wondering what would happen in someone failed to check in at the hotel or for instance decided to couchsurf instead.
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SCQ83
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:44 pm

Quoting justinlee (Reply 11):
Kind of, fake ID is a serious problem in China. For Chinese, our ID card actually has an RFID chip in it. When you check in an hotel, you will be required to show your ID. The checkin agent will scan your ID card on RFID reader linked to the public security database in order to check whether your ID is faked or not. I don't know how it works for foreigners but I think the system is still the same.

Once in Shenzhen (entering from Hong Kong), I proceeded to go to the PR China border and the official in the counter took my passport for about half an hour (I just checked my watch)... he just was looking at the picture and me all the time (probably to verify if I was the same person), then checking all the pages in my passport, and finally he called some other officials and they were talking among them looking at me for about a while. They didn't ask / talk to me at all during the process (I was still in the counter, the passport control was actually empty) and finally, I was handled back the passport and they allowed me into China.

Definitely it was the weirdest experience I have ever experienced in a passport control, because I had no idea what they were looking at (fake passport, potential criminal???... no idea!)
 
Prost
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:55 pm

When checking in to a hotel in the PRC, I've always had my passport checked and photocopied.

I would think this TWOV would also help skyteam and other airline alliances to use PEK as a transfer point?
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:19 pm

and China's protests against Norway continues. All 27 EU member states plus Iceland and Switzerland are included in the scheme, which applies from 1 January. Included in the list are the U.S., Russia, Japan and most Latin American countries.

But not Norway. The relationship between China and Norway has been ice cold ever since the Nobel comitte awarded the award to Liu Xiaobo in 2010.

Wang Qin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, did not want to answer direct questions from the Financial Times on why Norway is omitted.

- But some countries are not eligible because they are a people or a government that is of low quality and behaving badly, says Wang.

....  
 
ukoverlander
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:30 pm

I transited Beijing twice this year on trips to and from the USA to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Providing you are in the country less than 24 hours you could obtain an entry permit at no cost on arrival enabling you to fly in, overnight at a hotel and then return to the airport to check in for your flight (in my case the following day). No hassle, no fuss, very courteous and all conducted at a desk right next to the normal immigration desk in Beijng. A great advantage compared to the cost and hassle of getting a Chinese Visa.

Extending the 24 hour Vias to 72 hours sounds even better.

[Edited 2012-12-06 11:36:33]
 
ontime
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:30 pm

Does an onward ticket to HKG count as onward travel to another country? I have a trip to HKG next year, and I would love to do a stopover in PEK for a day or two on the way. I know HKG has its own immigration (and no visa required for UA citizens), but curious whether I could fly LAX-PEK (1-day stopover), then PEK-HKG without a Chinese visa?
 
ukoverlander
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:38 pm

Here is the posting on the Chinese Embassy website in the UK regarding 24 hour visaless transits. I should post this because it provides for caveats.

http://www.visaforchina.org/LON_EN/visainstruction/250022.shtml
 
justinlee
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:00 pm

Quoting Reply 19):
Does an onward ticket to HKG count as onward travel to another country? I have a trip to HKG next year, and I would love to do a stopover in PEK for a day or two on the way. I know HKG has its own immigration (and no visa required for UA citizens), but curious whether I could fly LAX-PEK (1-day stopover), then PEK-HKG without a Chinese visa?

I check the legal file for this which is called "The Policy To Appropriately Extend Part of Foreigners' Non-visa Transit in Beijing Custom" (Just want to show how strange the chinese legal files are   ). The policy is applied to those who "transits to the third country or territory". In chinese legal files, "territory" basically means Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. So I think LAX-PEK-HKG should be ok. But you'd better call the airline first.
 
bennator
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:27 am

Quoting Reply 19):
Does an onward ticket to HKG count as onward travel to another country? I have a trip to HKG next year, and I would love to do a stopover in PEK for a day or two on the way. I know HKG has its own immigration (and no visa required for UA citizens), but curious whether I could fly LAX-PEK (1-day stopover), then PEK-HKG without a Chinese visa?

In 2009, I traveled HND-SHA,PVG-TPE visa free using the 48 HR TWOV policy for Shanghai. I contacted the Chinese embassy first, they said there was no problem. When I arrived in SHA I was detained for about 15 minute while the officer got out his rule book and found the rule for TWOV. But, yes, HKG, Taiwan, Macau, etc. are not considered part of the chinese "customs territory" and thus count as a third country for this purpose.
 
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legacyins
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:56 am

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 17):
- But some countries are not eligible because they are a people or a government that is of low quality and behaving badly, says Wang.

What an insult to the People and Government of Norway. I am glad the Norwegians are above it all and that shows the strength and dignity of the Country. The Foreign Affairs spokesman should take a few ELS courses and realize what an insulting thing he said, IMO.
 
swissgabe
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RE: Visa-free Transits At PEK From January 1st

Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:51 pm

There is already such a rule in place for certain nationalities. I'm able to transit via China and have a 24 hrs exemption of the visa rule provided I have a connected onward connection of our China within 24 hrs respective 48 hrs. As per timatic I'm even allowed to transit via another chinese airport to that departure flight. However, afaik this is only available at PEK (24 hrs) and PVG/SHA (48 hrs).

I did it two month ago and it went pretty well. There is a special counter, the passport was stamped upon entry only and there was no charge.
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