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China 24, 72, and 144 hour Transit Without Visa ("TWOV"), 2024 onwards

Old Jan 13, 2024, 10:15 am
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Last edit by: moondog
Notice: This thread pertains strictly to visa free transit.
China (the PRC) has several programs that permit travelers with most passports to transit in China without the need to obtain a visa for periods of 24, 72, or 144 hours. These policies are commonly referred to as "transit without visa", "TWOV", or "visa free transit". They have almost completely replaced transit visas, but technically aren't visas.

This thread is functionally the same as its archived predecessor:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chin...er-thread.html

What's more, the information contained in the wikipost of the previous thread is still (as of 2024) reasonably accurate. However, since that wikipost had evolved into a long and tedious read, we decided to start anew.

Following are summaries of some of the key points:

1. "transit", in the case of all TWOV policies, requires entering and exiting China directly from different countries. For example, USA-China-Japan is okay, while Japan-China-Japan is not, even if you don't actually enter Japan in either direction (i.e. LAX-TYO-SHA is regarded as TYO-SHA).

2. Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau are functionally regarded as separate entities for the sake of TWOV, mean routings such as Hong Kong - Shanghai - Macau are permitted.

3. 24-hour TWOV applies to most combinations of conceivable ports of entries/exits, whereas 72 and 144 TWOV is restricted to travel within specific zones (e.g. if you enter China via Shanghai, you are required to remain within the boundaries of Shanghai/Jiangsu/Zhejiang during your stay and must exit from an approved checkpoint within the same area).

4. Your first port of entry in China establishes your zone, and this is the case even for flights that make intermediate stops within China (e.g. CA154 HIJ-PEK stops in DLC, so if you want 144 TVOW, you need to terminate in Dalian and remain within Liaoning Province, and if terminate in Beijing, you'll need to depart China within 24 hours of your arrival in DLC).

5. Visitors to this thread are welcome to provide specific itineraries for us to comment on here, but we encourage you to query TIMATIC (there are numerous free TIMATIC interfaces available on the internet, some better than others) for your specific case first because approved ports change from time to time and there are some variances based on passport/citizenship.

6. In order to avail of TWOV, you should be prepared to demonstrate compliance with both your inbound transportation provider (almost certainly an airline) and at the arrival border checkpoint. Proof of onward travel within the applicable time frame (i.e. 24, 72, or 144 hours) is essential, so even if your plan is to walk across an approved land border upon exit, you may well be denied boarding if you fail to produce a confirmed onward plane/boat/bus ticket.

7. Proof of accommodation in China is not technically required, BUT reserving a hotel room, for at least the first night, is advisable because doing so preempts "where are you staying?" conversations and staying in a hotel will ensure compliance with the "all foreigners must register with a PSB within 24/72 hours" rule.

8. In some cases (e.g. daytime layovers within the same terminal facility), applicants for 24-hour TWOV might be permitted to transit, but denied permits to enter the country. There are a number of ways to minimize (or completely eliminate) the odds of being denied an entry permit.







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China 24, 72, and 144 hour Transit Without Visa ("TWOV"), 2024 onwards

Old Jan 13, 2024, 8:34 am
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China 24, 72, and 144 hour Transit Without Visa ("TWOV"), 2024 onwards

This post is a placeholder until we organize the thread (e.g. build a new wikipost). In the meantime, here is a link to the other thread, which has now been archived.

China 24, 72, and 144 hour Transit Without Visa ("TWOV") rules master thread

Thank you for you for your help l etoile
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Last edited by moondog; Jan 13, 2024 at 9:33 am
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Old Jan 13, 2024, 11:09 am
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What about using only one leg of a Ticket into China and flying out with a different one within the 144h.

E.g. BUD-NGB-TAO-ICN is a hell of a lot cheaper than BUD-NGB-ICN, but I would prefer to skip the TAO part and fly from NGB, SHA or HGH to SEL or TYO.

Will I have any issues with customs/immigration if I only show them the second/separate NGB-ICN etc. Ticket ?
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Old Jan 13, 2024, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by wwtknoyb
What about using only one leg of a Ticket into China and flying out with a different one within the 144h.

E.g. BUD-NGB-TAO-ICN is a hell of a lot cheaper than BUD-NGB-ICN, but I would prefer to skip the TAO part and fly from NGB, SHA or HGH to SEL or TYO.

Will I have any issues with customs/immigration if I only show them the second/separate NGB-ICN etc. Ticket ?
I'd take that risk myself, assuming an onward ticket to show border control. On the entry form, you simply need to provide your inbound flight number.
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Old Jan 13, 2024, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by wwtknoyb

Will I have any issues with customs/immigration if I only show them the second/separate NGB-ICN etc. Ticket ?

That would be "hidden city" or "skiplagging". Should work for the sake of the 144-hour TWOV, but the consensus is that (depending on route and layover times) it is easier to do with no checked luggage. Also, you shouldn't do it too often with the same airline.
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Old Jan 13, 2024, 3:21 pm
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Originally Posted by narvik
That would be "hidden city" or "skiplagging". Should work for the sake of the 144-hour TWOV, but the consensus is that (depending on route and layover times) it is easier to do with no checked luggage. Also, you shouldn't do it too often with the same airline.
The OP would have a theoretical seven hour layover in NGB, so even if customs doesn't take place there, short checking (e.g. in order to access clothes/stuff) should be an easy case to make upon check-in.
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Old Jan 13, 2024, 5:11 pm
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From my experience so far, when it comes to check-in for flights from Europe to China, they report the whole itinerary to China and wait for an answer before they print out the boarding pass.

Now the question remains if custom/immigration also receives that information in their system or not.

​​​​In PVG I have been told/warned by immigration to not change the booking afterwards, but I would of course make both reservations before leaving Europe.

Found another BUD-NGB-PVG-PUS flight with MU for less than 300 EUR o/w.

Even O/W flights to China are insanely cheap at the moment.

Azerbaijan Airlines takes the cake most of the times. E. g. two days ago they sold SAW-GYD--PEK for 144 EUR. Three days before christmas I paid 75 EUR for PEK-GYD, incl. 10 kg hand luggage....but since yesterday they do not offer hand luggage only fares anymore.
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Old Jan 13, 2024, 5:40 pm
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That's an excellent point wwtknoyb

Basically, in order to pull off check-in at BUD, you may well need to present proof of an onward flight from TAO to a different country departing before 2p the day after arrival in NGB (this stop triggers the 24 hour clock).

Then, you could try the original strategy with border control in NGB.

That's a lot of moving parts, and not for the feint of heart or the feeble, but maybe it would work.

Still, I'd like to retract my earlier tacit seal of approval.

ETA: Maybe you could ask FM for a true stopover in NGB? Then, you could ostensibly pick up the second segment at a later date.

Last edited by moondog; Jan 13, 2024 at 5:50 pm
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Old Jan 14, 2024, 12:24 am
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According to a recent video from amuni.travel over at Youtube (sorry cannot post a link, because I have not made five posts yet...)

Guangzhou denies entry, day and night, if the scheduled time of arrival is less than 10 hours from the scheduled time of departure.

His scheduled layover was 9h50min.
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Old Jan 14, 2024, 12:53 am
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Originally Posted by wwtknoyb
According to a recent video from amuni.travel over at Youtube (sorry cannot post a link, because I have not made five posts yet...)

Guangzhou denies entry, day and night, if the scheduled time of arrival is less than 10 hours from the scheduled time of departure.

His scheduled layover was 9h50min.
Here's the video
We've discussed day time layovers a fair amount here in the past, and, yeah, don't count on being permitted to enter the country. That guy wasn't nearly as annoying as most YouTube travel vloggers I've seen, but he probably should have planned a little better if he wasn't simply trying to get sympathy clicks.
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Old Jan 14, 2024, 2:23 am
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Is 10 hours a published requirement?
I've seen it stated as 8 in another source https://www.travelchinaguide.com/emb...sit-24hour.htm

Annoying? Himself, no. The music he chose to use as a filler, yes.
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Old Jan 14, 2024, 8:14 am
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He's wearing a shirt with the German flag on it, but I guess he's not German? (As they get visa-free entry to China)
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Old Jan 14, 2024, 11:04 pm
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Despite all the Visa free travel for Germans etc. it seems that some secondary routes do not generate enough revenue to be sustainable.

Air China is finally throwing in the towel and stopping BUD-CKG. The last flight is this Wednesday.

​​​
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Old Jan 15, 2024, 8:21 am
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Originally Posted by wwtknoyb
Air China is finally throwing in the towel and stopping BUD-CKG. The last flight is this Wednesday.

​​​
That's not exactly a shocker Enjoy those $100 fares while they last. Those of us who fly to/from the US remain envious.
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Old Jan 15, 2024, 8:39 am
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Seems Switzerland will join the Visa-free group, too.

Nothing official yet, though.

edit: My source isn't very clear - and as all know, until official, big grain of salt. Let's see..

https://www.mfa.gov.cn/web/wjdt_6748...11224297.shtml
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Old Jan 15, 2024, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by moondog
That's not exactly a shocker Enjoy those $100 fares while they last. Those of us who fly to/from the US remain envious.
In retroperspective I am glad I did not book the r/t flights BUD-CKG for the end of this month. They offered them for 475 EUR.

Now it will be quite tricky to get in and out of CKG 144h TWOV compliant.

​​​​​​With all the Indian, Saudi etc. Airlines ordering hundreds of Aircrafts I would not be surprised at all if the competition will get even more intense in the years to come.

Indigo out of India will most likely be the most aggressive.

Edit: If you google Switzerland visa free China, it seems to be official by now. I guess there will be more countries. Thailand even got 30 days, but they also allow chinese citizens a visa free entry.

Last edited by wwtknoyb; Jan 15, 2024 at 8:57 am
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