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China transit visa. Quantum.


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Is anybody else from the uk cruising on quantum on the 5th October this year but staying in Beijing the night before? We have a two nights stay before embarking  but finding the visa requirements a total nightmare.  Conflicting advice from embassy and agencies. 

There is a 72 hour transit visa. Has anyone heard/ used this? We think we are eligible as we are not travelling elsewhere in China  

Many thanks. 

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I have done the visa-exempt thing in Shanghai. The kicker (at least for Americans) is that it is a “transit” visa — you cannot, for example, fly in from the US, stay 2 days, and fly back to the US. You would have to go somewhere else upon departure, like Japan, South Korea, etc before returning to the US. 

Hope that helps!

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You can use the 144 hour / 72 hour visa free transit in Beijing as long as you don’t plan to go outside Beijing and Tianjin in Mainland China during your stay. One thing @KristiZ has wrong is that you can fly back to the same country, only restriction is you cannot avail the transit if you are entering China from Japan (or any of the countries the cruise stops at) and/or flying out of China to those countries. Just make sure to fill out the transit arrival card in the airport and port and have your RCCL eDocs and the flight itinerary printed out with your names and the cruise itinerary. I have done this three times in Shanghai, twice for Quantum and once for Spectrum so feel free to ask any questions.

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Yes, unfortunately the rule is pretty opaque and I think it has changed over time. Your nationality and country of residence definitely impact how it is handled. For example, in my case I flew in from South Korea and out to Japan and it was allowed.

Your flight connection city can also impact this — if you make a connection on your way home it is easy to meet the transit requirement. 

To be honest the whole thing was stressful, not knowing for certain if it would work!

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You look eligible for the 72 or 144 hour visa-free transit to me.

We recently took advantage of it on a flight from Auckland to Shanghai, with an overnight stay and then a cruise on Spectrum with a first stop in Okinawa, Japan. We again used it on the return from Nagasaki, staying three nights in Shanghai and then back to Auckland.

A good resource is here: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/tour/visa/free-transit-144-hours.htm

Someone with a similar question to yours, re: Dubai is here: https://answers.travelchinaguide.com/question/825694.htm (note that the people answering the questions have no official capacity, however).

My tips, take them or leave them:

  • Have ALL of your travel information printed out, including flight confirmations, cruise documents (with itinerary to show your first stop is Japan), hotel confirmation, etc. You will need to show all of it.
  • Inform your airline when boarding in the UK that you plan to use the 144 hour visa-free transit. 
  • I can't speak to Beijing, but the process at Shanghai was extremely easy, with clearly marked lanes at immigration. There's a little form to fill out for each traveller, which takes only a few minutes (we had done this using an online tool, which was a waste of time since all of the automated machines were out of order).

Sounds like a great cruise -- have a fantastic time!

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/13/2019 at 5:27 AM, Kiwi said:

You look eligible for the 72 or 144 hour visa-free transit to me.

We recently took advantage of it on a flight from Auckland to Shanghai, with an overnight stay and then a cruise on Spectrum with a first stop in Okinawa, Japan. We again used it on the return from Nagasaki, staying three nights in Shanghai and then back to Auckland.

A good resource is here: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/tour/visa/free-transit-144-hours.htm

Someone with a similar question to yours, re: Dubai is here: https://answers.travelchinaguide.com/question/825694.htm (note that the people answering the questions have no official capacity, however).

My tips, take them or leave them:

  • Have ALL of your travel information printed out, including flight confirmations, cruise documents (with itinerary to show your first stop is Japan), hotel confirmation, etc. You will need to show all of it.
  • Inform your airline when boarding in the UK that you plan to use the 144 hour visa-free transit. 
  • I can't speak to Beijing, but the process at Shanghai was extremely easy, with clearly marked lanes at immigration. There's a little form to fill out for each traveller, which takes only a few minutes (we had done this using an online tool, which was a waste of time since all of the automated machines were out of order).

Sounds like a great cruise -- have a fantastic time!

 

Great info, Kiwi. So correct me if I am wrong, but I can apply for 2 separate 72-hours visas in Shanghai. That would when we land in Pudong Airport (Shanghai) and before we disembark Spectrum of the Seas when we return 7-days later from Japan. Is that correct? Thanks in advance!

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  • 1 month later...

I am flying out of melbourne to singapore and cruising from singapore to tianjin in china with royal Caribbean ..(ports of call our vietnam, honkong and japan)...will be staying 1 night in Beijing and then flying back to Melbourne with 1  and half hour lay over in singapore...do i need a visa for china or am i able to get a 72/144 exemption?

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On 8/10/2019 at 9:35 PM, Jane said:

Is anybody else from the uk cruising on quantum on the 5th October this year but staying in Beijing the night before? We have a two nights stay before embarking  but finding the visa requirements a total nightmare.  Conflicting advice from embassy and agencies. 

There is a 72 hour transit visa. Has anyone heard/ used this? We think we are eligible as we are not travelling elsewhere in China  

Many thanks. 

Oh gosh Jane, were you caught up in the recent debacle?

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On 9/10/2019 at 9:24 AM, Dave C. said:

Great info, Kiwi. So correct me if I am wrong, but I can apply for 2 separate 72-hours visas in Shanghai. That would when we land in Pudong Airport (Shanghai) and before we disembark Spectrum of the Seas when we return 7-days later from Japan. Is that correct? Thanks in advance!

Sorry for the delay in replying, Dave C., I only just saw this (after more than a month 😞)!  But yes, that's exactly right, you will get two separate visa-free transits: one for arrival into Pudong pre-cruise, then one for disembarkation. (Fwiw, these are not visas -- they allow you to transit through China without the need for obtaining visas). 

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9 hours ago, Ann S said:

I am flying out of melbourne to singapore and cruising from singapore to tianjin in china with royal Caribbean ..(ports of call our vietnam, honkong and japan)...will be staying 1 night in Beijing and then flying back to Melbourne with 1  and half hour lay over in singapore...do i need a visa for china or am i able to get a 72/144 exemption?

I'm no expert, but it seems like you'd be eligible for visa-free transit, since you're entering from Country A (Japan), arriving in B (Beijing is eligible), then departing to Country C (Australia).  https://www.travelchinaguide.com/tour/visa/free-transit-144-hours.htm

In your case I frankly wouldn't be so worried, since you'll already have enjoyed your cruise by the time you arrive China and will simply be looking to leave -- I'm not sure what else they'd do with you except send you home, lol!

Enjoy the cruise -- sounds great!

 

 

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6 hours ago, Ray said:

Might Best checking the Australian Government website for exact details 🙂

The Australian government is not the best source for rules about Chinese immigration requirements. A Chinese embassy/consulate in Australia would be. But much like you wouldn't go to the Chinese government to ask about entry requirements for Australia, nor should you go to the Australian government to ask about entry requirements to China. 

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The other variable with the recent UK cruise debacle seemed to involve past travel history.  One person in a family might be deemed admissible on the waiver program but another might be rejected because of past travel history.  

I'd be very careful using the internet as the basis of your decision to travel without a visa using the transit visa waiver program.

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3 hours ago, Zacharius said:

The Australian government is not the best source for rules about Chinese immigration requirements. A Chinese embassy/consulate in Australia would be. But much like you wouldn't go to the Chinese government to ask about entry requirements for Australia, nor should you go to the Australian government to ask about entry requirements to China. 

Uk Gov website has all info needed for uk citizens travelling abroad to any location, visa requirements, vaccinations, even safety issues etc. We dont have to go to embassies to find out we use tje website.

I just presumed Australia would have the same, but obviously not 

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1 hour ago, Ray said:

Uk Gov website has all info needed for uk citizens travelling abroad to any location, visa requirements, vaccinations, even safety issues etc. We dont have to go to embassies to find out we use tje website.

I just presumed Australia would have the same, but obviously not 

I'm not saying that. Australia probably does. But my point is that China will have the definitive rules as to immigration policies of China. The Australian government will do the best they can, and they very well may have it right, but when push comes to shove and Chinese authorities are questioning your immigration status, it's better to have a Chinese government answer than an Australian (or British or American or Sudanese or whomever else's) answer. 

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6 hours ago, twangster said:

The other variable with the recent UK cruise debacle seemed to involve past travel history.  One person in a family might be deemed admissible on the waiver program but another might be rejected because of past travel history.  

I'd be very careful using the internet as the basis of your decision to travel without a visa using the transit visa waiver program.

I haven't been keeping up on cruise news lately and only just read about what happened. Incredibly horrifying, frustrating, and sad, and I feel awful for all those affected -- can't imagine going through something like that.

Using the internet as the basis for a decision may be an issue, but I suspect those that were affected were made aware of visa-free transit from a variety of sources: internet sites (including official Chinese government sites), travel agents, airlines, and even embassies/consulates. What's particularly insidious is that the visa-free transit rules appear to have been selectively, or even capriciously, applied (or ignored) by the border agents. 

My takeaway isn't so much "be very careful of using the internet" as much as "visa-free transit isn't guaranteed and can be subject to whims of border agents". It does make me far less interested in any cruise involving China, and more likely to get an actual visa if we do go. (And who knows, maybe that's the intent, if there was any rhyme or reason to the border agents' actions.)

 

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