Beijing to offer 72-hour visa-free stay for transit travellers

Beijing will start a 72-hour visa-free stay policy for citizens of 45 countries in 2013 to boost tourism, Beijing municipal government announced on December 5.

the Forbidden City, Beijing, China

the Forbidden City, Beijing, China

From Jan. 1, 2013, foreigners from 45 countries, landing in Beijing but destined for other countries, can hold third country visas and plane tickets to apply for a transit without visa (TWOV), at Beijing Capital International Airport. They will be able to stay in Beijing for 72 hours without a Chinese visa.

The 45 countries were listed in accordance with the numbers of inbound overnight visitors in Beijing from 2009 to 2011.

Austria Hungary Portugal Cyprus  Chile
Belgium Iceland the Republic of  Slovakia Bulgaria  Australia
the Czech Republic Italy the Republic of  Slovenia Romania  New Zealand
Denmark Latvia Spain Ukraine  the Republic of  Korea
Estonia the Republic of Lithuania Sweden the United States of America  Japan
Finland Luxembourg Swiss Canada  Singapore
France the Republic of Malta Russia Brazil  Brunei
Germany the Netherlands the United Kingdom of Britain Mexico  the United Arab  Emirates
Greece Poland the Republic of Ireland Argentina  Qatar

Beijing Capital International Airport is the only entry-exit port applicable for the policy. And, the 72 hours will be calculated starting from the moment visitors get their transit stay permits.

Transit visitors have to carry identity documents with them while traveling during the 72 hours, and register at a police station with their documents within 24 hours of their arrival. Moreover, they will be not allowed to leave Beijing to other Chinese cities during the 72 hours, and have to depart from Beijing.

The visa-free policy is aimed at making Beijing more accessible to the world; and, more importantly, it is expected to attract more international travelers. Within a three-day stay, people are free to visit Beijing’s well-known tourist spots, go shopping, and sample the local cuisine.