View Full Version : Beijing 144 Hour Transit Visa

8th Oct 2018, 08:43
Has anyone got any experience of applying for and getting the 144 hour transit visa in Beijing? I've read a lot on the interwebs and can find nothing definitive other than check with your local embassy. They of course steer you towards the 200.00 option of a full visa etc but this is another 1K for the 5 people going so obviously if we can get the transit visa it's a good saving.

Scenario is, travelling to Manila in November via Beijing on Air China. Cheapest option was to book with a 4 day layover so thought would make a trip of it. All UK passport holders and from what I can see eligible for the transit visa.

I've read you can get it on arrival and there are special lanes to queue for it. I've also read that you need to go through the airline before check in and explain your intentions, nothing is too clear

So has anyone on here actually done this and can give some clarity on the process I would be grateful!


Background Noise
8th Oct 2018, 17:47
I think the limit for transit passengers is 72 hours, so you may actually need to get a visitor visa. If so, you might need to start getting on with it.

We have just got our Visas by visiting the Visa office in London, which we did on a Monday and had them back in the post 5 days later. If you have any other questions about the process let me know.

There are plenty of spurious sites but this is the 72hr transit Visa page from the official site: Policy regarding visa exemption for 72 hour transit in Beijing and Shanghai airports for certain countries (http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk/eng/visa/notice/t1003320.htm)

8th Oct 2018, 18:31
I'm curious about this as well. This is the link 144-hour Visa Free-ebeijing.gov.cn (http://www.ebeijing.gov.cn/feature_2/144hourVisaFree/) It says you need a visa for the third (onward) country or region. But what if you don't actually need a visa for that country?

Background Noise
8th Oct 2018, 18:45
Interesting - seems I might be a bit adrift - this also seems to support the 144 hours exemption for Beijing. Transit Visa Exemptions in China: 24 Hour, 72 Hour, and 144 Hour Options - China Briefing News (http://www.china-briefing.com/news/transit-visa-exemptions-china-24-hour-72-hour-144-hour-options/)

9th Oct 2018, 08:12
Glad I'm not the only one confused about this. I have been before on a single entry visitor and know the usual process and can usually turn it around in a week or so if needed.

My understanding is that I'm eligible for the 144. From the UK, have an onward ticket within the 144 hour period. The 144 hours is specific to Beijing and a few other areas so can travel under this visa exclusion.

Seems not many do this then. I'll keep digging.

Haven't a clue
9th Oct 2018, 08:30
I considered using the 144 hour transit visa for a trip to HK with a stop in Shanghai, but then needed a visa anyway for a trip a couple of months before (and they gave me a 2 year multi entry which was nice and meant I didn't need to try it.). I was curious though about this visa option and thought it might come in handy another time. So on departure for the first trip I asked the BA checkin staff whether they were familiar with this visa and was told that they had heard of it but the checkin person might have to make a call to confirm entitlement. On arrival at PVG l checked out the Immigration lanes/booths and there was one dedicated to transit visas.

Beijing Capital Airport suggest it is straight forward

Beijing Capital Airport 144 hour transit visa (http://en.bcia.com.cn/server/notice/144visafree/144visafree_policy.shtml)

But as you plan to use Air China why not speak to them? They should know.

9th Oct 2018, 09:40
But as you plan to use Air China why not speak to them? They should know.

That's the next step step me thinks, just wanted to see if anyone had actually done it before so I've got some facts and don't look like a total plum on the call :O

Haven't a clue
9th Oct 2018, 16:46
look like a total plum on the call

Never! Good luck and appreciate feedback if you succeed.

9th Oct 2018, 22:52
Good question xanda man. I think we can be sure that, during the phone call, the only 'plum' will be at the other end of the line ...

12th Oct 2018, 07:15
You need a confirmed onward ticket out of China on a flight which doesn't stop in China on the way. Your ticket must be to a third country, you can't go back to where your arriving flight left from even if it's only to catch a connecting flight. You have to leave from the same zone that you arrived in, which doesn't seem to be a problem. Carry your passport at all times when outside the hotel, you will need it for entry to certain attractions anyway. The procedure at Beijing is quite straight forward but allow a bit of extra time when you check in for the flight to China, and preferably print out the rules from the official website as check in staff may not be familiar with the procedures and will definitely go through a thorough check to cover themselves.

Read up on Beijing scams before you go, there are quite a few, especially the tea house and traditional medicine ones, otherwise enjoy your trip.

12th Oct 2018, 08:30
Read up on Beijing scams before you go, there are quite a few, especially the tea house and traditional medicine ones, otherwise enjoy your trip.

Thanks for the info, seems straight forward then.

I know about the scams but thanks for the heads up, its not my first time. I went early last year for work and lost a colleague for a few hours whilst he went off for some tea samples :) Needless to say he came back annoyed and slightly worse off financially. I did warn him