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144 hour visa-free expanded across China

January 14, 2018

China has now extended its visa-free period for eligible travellers transiting through Beijing to 144 hours. This includes nationals from 53 countries and those that arrive with a valid onward ticket to another destination

As part of the extension the neighbouring areas of Hebei Province and Tianjin City has been added to areas that those given the visa can travel to. Previously they were confined to the Beijing area.

Previous policy only allowed 72 hours and was introduced in 2013. In 2016 Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces took the lead to permit the 144 hour visas for 51 countries. Now Beijing is following this due to its smooth operation and benefit to travelers and the economy.

Beijing Vice Mayor Cheng Hong welcomed the first foreigners exempted from visas at the Beijing Capital International Airport. Cheng said the visa-free period was extended after about 40 percent of the foreign guests enjoying the previous transit policy said time was too short.

“We open rail and land ports for the first time and allow passengers to visit more places (Tianjian and Hebei),” she said. “The policy is expected to boost Beijing’s economic and cultural exchanges with the world and is good to the city’s image.”

It should be noted that for someone to be regarded as transiting, they should arrive in China from a foreign country (A) and then after leaving China fly to another foreign country (B) which is the not the same as the original destination (A). If arriving in China without an onward ticket, travelers may be refused permission to enter China and will have to return their country of origin.