BA & Chinese Visa Exemption

Old Sep 9, 19, 9:03 am
  #1  
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PVG Visa Free Visit

Hi all

Tried calling the Gold Line about this earlier but they were not able to give a concrete view either way. My wife and I are travelling to Tokyo next week for the first weekend of the Rugby World Cup. There were no direct redemption flights when we booked, so we're going via Shanghai, with an overnight stopover on the outbound (Friday night) and a a shorter four hour stopover on the return on Tuesday night.

We were planning to avail ourselves of the 72/144hr visa free stopover (Irish passport holders) but nobody is able to confirm whether we will be allowed on the flight given that we have no visa. Is anyone able to confirm that this is possible please?

Thanks


Mark
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Old Sep 9, 19, 9:06 am
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There is a good thread about TWOV on the China board on FT. Basically as long as you are eligible for TWOV then you shouldn’t have a problem boarding. If your China to Tokyo tickets are separate you may want to have a printed copy just to show your stay in China is within the limits.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 9:09 am
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There's boards other than for BAEC on Flyertalk? I've learnt something today
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Old Sep 9, 19, 9:12 am
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See here

China Visa / Visas Master Thread (all you need to know)
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Old Sep 9, 19, 9:13 am
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You will be fine. Take a (printed) copy of your onward travel from China to Japan in case anyone asks for it.

Enjoy the RWC - I am very jealous!
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Old Sep 9, 19, 9:19 am
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In PVG you will have no problem applying for 72-hour visa; especially if you are on UK or EU passports. BA shouldn't give you an issue getting on the plane.

Some other entrance points with less foreigners doing 72-hours (CKG, CTU...) they look more closely at your passport / it may take the duty manager to approve; but never had an issue.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 9:45 am
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Fantastic, thanks very much all!
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Old Sep 9, 19, 9:51 am
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Greetings from Shanghai.

It's 144 hours for Brits and most Westerners in Shanghai, and BA at T5 are so well aware of it they often don't check beyond the fact that you have a passport from one of the TWOV countries. There is a separate scheme for 24 hours or less. Other airlines are much more suspicious of this form of travel, but BA knows full well about the scheme and are relaxed about it.

Don't fill in the yellow form they give you on board, just fill in the blue form you get close to the immigration desk at PVG, it's the same blue form for both schemes. There is a dedicated 144 hr transit desk right at the end of the immigration line, but outside peak hours it's often closed. Just use the "Special Lane" number 48, next to the "Belt and Road" desks. There are blue forms at the columns around there. Before doing so, go to one of the fingerprint machines to register your fingerprints against their database for your passport number - this is a one time action so you don't need to do it on the return. You get a small OK slip, then go to Special Lane if it doesn't look too busy, with the form filled in. Somewhere down the line they will ask for your left fingerprints to verify against that database.

You also need a print out of your itinerary (flight details) with the PNR and ticket number. And a reservation print out from the hotel. Assume about 10 minutes or so for this process.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 10:04 am
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I also did a stopover in PVG on a trip to Japan earlier this year. You will need to take a printout of your onward itinerary to Japan with you, because the immigration officer at PVG will want to see that as proof of onward travel within 144 hours.

Signage for TWOV at PVG is not great. As you walk into the immigration hall you will see a long line of desks, where people will be queuing up. You should bypass the queues and go to the desks for 144 hour visa, which are at the far left end. There you will need to fill out a short form before approaching the immigration officer with your passport and onward travel details.

At BA the check-in at LHR I was asked if I had a visa for China, and I just said that I would be entering on the 144 hour transit visa.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 11:06 am
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Be warned.

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Old Sep 9, 19, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by alvinlwh View Post
He was refused a TWOV since on a previous visit he or his hotel hadn't registered properly. The result was he was no longer eligible for the TWOV. Just like ESTAs in the US if you do something they don't like you will no longer be eligible and you will need to apply for a visa rather than making use of non-visa schemes.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
BA at T5 are so well aware of it they often don't check beyond the fact that you have a passport from one of the TWOV countries. There is a separate scheme for 24 hours or less. Other airlines are much more suspicious of this form of travel, but BA knows full well about the scheme and are relaxed about it.
Unless your onward ticket from PVG is to Macau, in which case the BA staff at T5 haven't a clue about the rules and tell you you are not eligible for TWOV! We had the BA visa expert at T5 telling us we couldn't travel and I believe had I not been very prepared with a lot of information on this we'd have missed the flight. All was well in the end but we spent a lot of time at check in sorting it out.

This was a few years ago however and I'm sure it is much more straightforward travelling onward to Japan.

Agree nobody bats an eyelid once you arrive in PVG. As is often the case, it is the airlines that are harder to convince than actual immigration!
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Old Sep 9, 19, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by PETER01 View Post
NO, OP should look at the big sticky TWOV thread in the China destination forum. The thread you linked is about how to apply for a Chinese visa.

It would help to know full details of OP's flights as even a "(technical) stop" in China can make a difference, but something like LHR-PVG-NRT followed by NRT-LHR upon the return should be fine for 144 hours in Shanghai.

OP should be sure to have hard copies of all flight itineraries and receipts and also a printout of the hotel confirmation.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
He was refused a TWOV since on a previous visit he or his hotel hadn't registered properly. The result was he was no longer eligible for the TWOV. Just like ESTAs in the US if you do something they don't like you will no longer be eligible and you will need to apply for a visa rather than making use of non-visa schemes.
And since all hotels are hyperaware of this requirement, I fear some detail is missing here. Surprisingly this was the only detail not repeated endlessly during the video.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by wheremattgoes View Post
I also did a stopover in PVG on a trip to Japan earlier this year. You will need to take a printout of your onward itinerary to Japan with you, because the immigration officer at PVG will want to see that as proof of onward travel within 144 hours.

Signage for TWOV at PVG is not great. As you walk into the immigration hall you will see a long line of desks, where people will be queuing up. You should bypass the queues and go to the desks for 144 hour visa, which are at the far left end. There you will need to fill out a short form before approaching the immigration officer with your passport and onward travel details.

At BA the check-in at LHR I was asked if I had a visa for China, and I just said that I would be entering on the 144 hour transit visa.
It's not a transit visa. This just confuses the issue.

TWOV = transit WITHOUT visa.
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