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Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

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london
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Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

Hi, I am a UK citizen who is thiking of booking a return flights to tokyo and while in tokyo have a return flight to Beijing for a 3 night stay. However the flight from Tokyo requires a change in Shanghai at lands there at 13:00 on 16/6/13 with the next flight to Beijing landing their at 16.40. The flight from Beijing back to Tokyo departs on 19/6/13 at 13:55 again via Shanghi where it departs from Shanghai to Tokyo at 17:00

Is it possible to do this on a free visa? Does the 72 hours start and finish on arrival and departure in Shanghi? Either way i would exceed slightly on the 72 hours. Is proof of onward travel outside China enough

Im considering spending 4 or 5 nights in Tokyo and surrounding area with the 3 nights in Beijing. Is this an ok idea, the flights times and costs to Beijing from Tokyo aren't ideal but seems worthwhile considering as I don't intend to visit the far east again

Beijing, China
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1. Re: Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

You've already asked this question in another thread, albeit for a different route. The answer is the same as last time. You are not in transit. Visa-free transit doesn't apply. To do this you will need a standard tourist visa.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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2. Re: Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

Return flights are not transits and do not qualify.

London
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3. Re: Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

No chance!

If you want to go to China, either buy a visa or go and spend a couple of days in Hong Kong. You can stay there visa free for 3 months. 6 if you have a UK passport.

Beijing, China
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4. Re: Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

If you are still going to Hong Kong you can fly from there to Tokyo via Beijing (or the other way around) and qualify for the 72 hr visa-free transit. As stated in your other thread, the transit time is taken from your ticket schedule.

There must be a third country for you to be in transit. It doesn't matter which two countries you come from or go to.

Beijing, China
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5. Re: Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

If you route your flight UK - Beijing (stopover) - Tokyo you can have up to 72 hours visa free transit. This qualifies, whereas UK-Tokyo-Beijing-Tokyo....does not qualify and you'd need a visa in advance. I think that when you see the price of round-trip flights out of Tokyo, you'll see how my suggestion is preferable. In fact, if you route:

UK - PEK (stopover <72 hours) - Tokyo - PEK (stopover <72 hours) - UK, you effectively and legally get two bites at the Beijing apple. OR

UK- PEK - Tokyo -PVG (Shanghai <72 hours) - UK to get a crack at each of these cities. Or do PVG outbound and PEK return.

Remember only Beijing and Shanghai get the extended visa free transit situation; everywhere else is 24 hours only. You may not combine BJ or SH sequentially with each other or any other Chinese city (double-stop transit) and add the allowances; in fact, all these situations which are legal, are limited back to 24 hours. So don't try to do UK - PEK -PVG - Tokyo.....unless you want to get a visa or do that China sequence within 24 hours.

Didn't see your other thread(s), but HKG is considered a third country for purposes of figuring out this visa-free transit itinerary.

Edited: 02 February 2013, 07:03
San Diego...
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6. Re: Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

From No. 4 above: "As stated in your other thread, the transit time is taken from your ticket schedule."

This is incorrect according to the Chinese Embasssy

( si.chineseembassy.org/eng/xwdt/t1007866.htm )

" the 72 hours will be counted from the moment visitors get their transit permits, but not the time when they land at the airport."

Beijing, China
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7. Re: Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

#6--first I've heard of this, and haven't seen written this way anywhere else. Embassy or not, I'm discounting this unless other data points (from municipal PSB's involved) come out confirming same. However, assuming it's right, it raises a problematic issue: How to get on the international China-bound flight in the first place?

If a passenger has no Chinese visa and the transit is longer than 72 hours according to the schedule of the inbound and outbound flights, I can almost guarantee the airline will refuse boarding. The flight schedule is the only benchmark an airline has to make the determination of 72 hours or not. (or 24 hours, for those passports not eligible for the extended transit-without-visa period). How are they supposed to know whether you will be stamped for transit 20 minutes after you land, or 1 hour, or 5 hours?

With electronic recording of when you cross Immigration desks in and out, the Chinese can keep track of whether 72 hours as elapsed, but nobody else involved in this transport sequence can, and there's the problem.

I don't think the Chinese Embassy (or PSB's, or central government) have given airlines "the memo" that transits now start from the moment the person gets the actual permit = shows up at Immigration desk. Since airlines remain the party that gets heavily fined by the Chinese government for bringing in a passenger with a non-eligible transit itinerary (monetary fine + having to transport the passenger back to origin), they are likely to be sticklers for the 72 hours as measured by the only way they can measure it--the flight schedule.

If the Chinese government has actually changed Starting the Transit Clock from the stamping-in moment, it wasn't a well thought-out decision, and is going to lead to some interesting situations in the field. Since the regulation prior to extended transits was always 24 hours as measured by scheduled flight arrival/departures---or 48 hours for some nationals in doing Shanghai transits--I can't figure why the Chinese would have any reason to change the benchmarking system.

Perhaps somebody with more time and better Chinese reading skills than mine can look up the Beijing PSB regulations on this, and see if they match the Embassy comments, or otherwise. Also the Shanghai PSB regs, as you can't automatically assume the two PSB's say the same thing. .

Edited: 03 February 2013, 03:15
London
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8. Re: Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

I'm with #7

Airlines can and frequently do impose tighter regulations than required by the countries official immigration dept.

This often crops up with having proof of onward travel. Many countries don't insist on it, though the airline will.

Given that it's the airline who make the decision who gets on the plane, it's pretty much up to them.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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9. Re: Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

When I have a chance I will call the Beijing Border police to get their view on this.

London
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10. Re: Is the free 72 hour visa strictly 72 hours maximum

The Beijing border police may well have a different view to the Shanghai border police.

Both views may differ to those of the Chinese embassy in the US.