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Miaminice

Shanghai/China 144 hour visa free transit explained

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11 hours ago, relo said:

I'm still trying to figure out if we qualify for the 144 hour visa free transit. It is difficult to find any information because we don't have a typical itinerary for our cruise. We start in Hongkong, then go to Taipei (Taiwan), Shanghai (2pm till 4pm next day) and then to Japan. So far I haven't found another cruise that does this route.

 

7 minutes ago, PCWalton1 said:

You questions are confusing. Answer the following please:

 

1. What port are you in prior to arriving in China?

2. Where are you going to be in China?

3. Where is the first place you are flying to after stopping in China?

 

What's confusing about the question?

 

1. What port are you in prior to arriving in China? - Taipei (Taiwan)

2. Where are you going to be in China? Shanghai

3. Where is the first place you are flying to after stopping in China? I think they are actually cruising - to Japan 

 

So that looks like a valid itinerary for the 144 hour Visa exception  - except they are questioning whether Taipei, Taiwan is recognised as another country by China. If not then I agree we need to know what country they are coming from before the Hong Kong visit

 

Any experience with the Taiwan issue? 

 

 

 

Edited by Stickman1990

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3 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

 

What's confusing about the question?

 

1. What port are you in prior to arriving in China? - Taipei (Taiwan)

2. Where are you going to be in China? Shanghai

3. Where is the first place you are flying to after stopping in China? I think they are actually cruising - to Japan 

 

So that looks like a valid itinerary for the 144 hour Visa exception  - except they are questioning whether Taipei, Taiwan is recognised as another country by China. If not then I agree we need to know what country they are coming from before the Hong Kong visit

 

Any experience with the Taiwan issue? 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so far.

Our complete itinerary in a nutshell is:

fly from The Netherlands to Japan - visit Tokyo & Kyoto - fly from Japan to Hongkong - Visit Macau - start the cruise in Hongkong - Taipei (Taiwan) - Shanghai - Kochi (Japan) - Osaka (Japan) - Shimizu (Japan) - end cruise in Yokohama (Japan) and fly back to The Netherlands 

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@relo

 

Here is the answer to your question: Taiwan is OK.

 

In order to take advantage of any China transit visa (72-hour or 144-hour), your original place of departure and your final destination must be different countries/regions. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau count as a “different country/region” in this case.

 

Find more info here (and on many other sites): 

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/tour/visa/free-transit-144-hours.htm

 

Quote:

What is an eligible transit route?

A → B: one of three areas in Mainland China → C

 

heading-arrow1.png A and C should be different countries or regions out of Mainland China.
* Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan can be the Destination A or C, so the route "UK-Shanghai-Hong Kong" is acceptable as the typical route "US-Hangzhou-Japan".

 

 

Edited by Miaminice

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5 hours ago, Miaminice said:

@relo

 

Here is the answer to your question: Taiwan is OK.

 

In order to take advantage of any China transit visa (72-hour or 144-hour), your original place of departure and your final destination must be different countries/regions. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau count as a “different country/region” in this case.

 

Find more info here (and on many other sites): 

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/tour/visa/free-transit-144-hours.htm

 

Quote:

What is an eligible transit route?

A → B: one of three areas in Mainland China → C

 

heading-arrow1.png A and C should be different countries or regions out of Mainland China.
* Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan can be the Destination A or C, so the route "UK-Shanghai-Hong Kong" is acceptable as the typical route "US-Hangzhou-Japan".

 

 

 

@Miaminice thanks for the answer and the site

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I have a question: 

Flying into Shanghai evening before cruise

All ports are in Japan

Fly out the day we return to Shanghai 

 

Do I qualify for 144 transit ? I assume 2, one for before cruise and one for after cruise?

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On 2/4/2019 at 10:27 PM, Elmo007 said:

I have a question: 

Flying into Shanghai evening before cruise

All ports are in Japan

Fly out the day we return to Shanghai 

 

Do I qualify for 144 transit ? I assume 2, one for before cruise and one for after cruise?

 

Where are you flying in from?  And out of?

 

1st one would be  Country ? to Shanghai, China to ?, Japan

2nd one would be ?, Japan to Shanghai, China to ?? Country

 

These both work.  I assume your cruise is longer than the 144 hours of the first transit?

Edited by Betty in Cozumel

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Miaminice,

 

Thank you for the clear and logical explanation of the sometimes very confusing situation.

Now you and the other passengers are clear on it.

Next you need to explain it to the Chinese Immigration Officials.

Every time this season that my ship has called at Shanghai, we have had problems with this 144 hour visa rule.

Not because the passengers were confused or unclear - but because the Chinese Officials either did not understand the process or did not want to understand the process.

 

The result?

If you are clear on the 144 hour visa rules and opt to follow them, you may still have difficulties.

If you choose to purchase the regular visa, you most likely will not have any problems.

You pay your money - or not - and then take your chances.................

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Eeek yikes, 

 

Can you elaborate, was it at the airport you

had issues? Is there anything you would recommend to have with you - I will have print outs of my paid in full itinerary, hotel reservations, confirmation from airline about the 144 hour visa rule, page from the consulates website (in Chinese) about the 144 hour ...anything else you would recommend? What specific difficulties did you encounter? I don’t have time to get a visa because I cant be without my passport between now and when I sail - so for me it’s a go / don’t go decision Not a get visa / don’t get visa decision! 

 Thank you! 

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I agree with sippican. Why would you risk something to save 2-300$ after spending thousands of $ on a vacation.  After traveling to China numerous times they have the last word. You can argue until you are blue in the face but their decision is final ! Sort of like people hauling cases of water onboard to save $20. Doesn't make much sense to me. 

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I have a timing issues with the visa that won’t allow me to get it; if you could share any specific issues you have encountered and recommensarions to avoid would be helpful if you can share!

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55 minutes ago, Elmo007 said:

Eeek yikes, 

 

Can you elaborate, was it at the airport you

had issues? Is there anything you would recommend to have with you - I will have print outs of my paid in full itinerary, hotel reservations, confirmation from airline about the 144 hour visa rule, page from the consulates website (in Chinese) about the 144 hour ...anything else you would recommend? What specific difficulties did you encounter? I don’t have time to get a visa because I cant be without my passport between now and when I sail - so for me it’s a go / don’t go decision Not a get visa / don’t get visa decision! 

 Thank you! 

 

We just returned from Constellation Asia cruise. We and our friends, nor anyone else we were aware of using the 144hr visa waiver had any problem whatsoever. Other than it took 3 hours to go through immigration lines in Shanghai (they were processing 2 cruise ships).

While on the ship, we were given forms to fill out for Chinese immigration. We had to have that form, one copy per person of your hotel reservation in Shanghai and one copy per person of your flight reservations, and passport to present to Chinese immigration. They stamp your passport and you’re on your way.  I’m from the U.S.  

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1 hour ago, BruceMuzz said:

The result?

If you are clear on the 144 hour visa rules and opt to follow them, you may still have difficulties.

If you choose to purchase the regular visa, you most likely will not have any problems.

You pay your money - or not - and then take your chances.................

 

I think coming in via the ports is a little harder than using it at the airports.  There is very clear signage for the 144 hr TWOV line that you have to go to before going into the regular immigration line.

 

As for a via; yes it would be easier but for us (Canadians living in Mexico) it is not.  We'd have to make a special trip to Canada for a week or more just to get this visa.  We don't plan on travelling to China enough to warrant it.  Been there a few times already with a 5 city tour for 15 days back in 2006.

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15 minutes ago, PDXgranny said:

We had to have that form, one copy per person of your hotel reservation in Shanghai and one copy per person of your flight reservations, and passport to present to Chinese immigration. 

 

Thanks for the info.  We are doing the opposite.  Flying into Shanghai and sailing out on the Westerdam.  Thanks for the info about one copy for each person of our hotel reservation and cruise documents.  I only had the one copy for both of us.  I will make more copies now for sure.  Plus the passport pages.

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Elmo, without knowing your specific itinerary, it's not possible to give you 100% surety on the 144 hr transit without visa. Like the PP, we just returned from Connie via Shanghai and had no problems whatsoever (other than the awful 3 hr wait standing in the immigration line)

 

However we are aware of one couple who did have a big problem with it. It was their travel agents fault. Their return flight from Shanghai to London had a connection in Hong Kong. This disqualified them from the 144 hr TWOV because our last stop before Shanghai was Hong Kong. They ended up having to leave the ship before we left Hong Kong. 

 

If you arrive into Shanghai from any country outside of China and then sail to another country (that isn't the country you arrived from), the ABC qualification is met. The same thing applies when you return to Shanghai. If your last port was in Japan,  and your return  flight home  doesn't stop in a Chinese or Japanese airport, then the ABC qualification is again met.

 

As for extra photocopies of your passport, flight reservations, and hotel confirmations, I'd recommend making several extra copies. The ship managed to lose the ones we gave them. TWICE!

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15 hours ago, mom says said:

However we are aware of one couple who did have a big problem with it. It was their travel agents fault. Their return flight from Shanghai to London had a connection in Hong Kong. This disqualified them from the 144 hr TWOV because our last stop before Shanghai was Hong Kong. They ended up having to leave the ship before we left Hong Kong. 

 

Not sure I would blame this all on their travel agent.  They should have read the rules for the 144 hr TWOV and advised the TA that they could not go from HK to China and back to HK.

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Thank you!! I am prepared to extremely overprepared!! And wow that immigration line - yikes. Will try to mentally prepare for that as well. Hoping this trip is great, seems like a lot of logistics! (I just came from Cuba last week and that seemed easier!!) 

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38 minutes ago, Betty in Cozumel said:

Not sure I would blame this all on their travel agent.  They should have read the rules for the 144 hr TWOV and advised the TA that they could not go from HK to China and back to HK.

 

I totally agree 

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29 minutes ago, Betty in Cozumel said:

 

Not sure I would blame this all on their travel agent.  They should have read the rules for the 144 hr TWOV and advised the TA that they could not go from HK to China and back to HK.

Unfortunately this couple found themselves in the midst of a cluster...... When they questioned their eligibility, both the TA AND CELEBRITY assured them in writing that they didn't need a visa.Their flights were through Choice Air. As a result, Celebrity had to pay to rearrange their return flight home, and pay for their transfers, hotel, and expenses in Hong Kong. Needless to say, the couple will be expecting additional compensation for the stress and disruption  that this error caused.  But this was a very unusual situation and hopefully not common pitfall.

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38 minutes ago, Betty in Cozumel said:

Not sure I would blame this all on their travel agent.  They should have read the rules for the 144 hr TWOV and advised the TA that they could not go from HK to China and back to HK.

 

I totally agree 

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On 2/7/2019 at 3:32 AM, BruceMuzz said:

Miaminice,

 

Thank you for the clear and logical explanation of the sometimes very confusing situation.

Now you and the other passengers are clear on it.

Next you need to explain it to the Chinese Immigration Officials.

Every time this season that my ship has called at Shanghai, we have had problems with this 144 hour visa rule.

Not because the passengers were confused or unclear - but because the Chinese Officials either did not understand the process or did not want to understand the process.

 

The result?

If you are clear on the 144 hour visa rules and opt to follow them, you may still have difficulties.

If you choose to purchase the regular visa, you most likely will not have any problems.

You pay your money - or not - and then take your chances.................

 

It is every individual’s decision how to play it... if you feel safer, just do it. 

 

We arrived to China / Shanghai on different occasions. By sea, by air, with visa exemption and with the need to have a visa. There was no problem whatsoever with the visa exemption and the wait wasn’t longer than immigration with a visa. 

 

If one plans to travel to China more often, getting a 10 year visa is probably the way to go. HOWEVER, please don’t just assume it is the same for everyone. Many readers here are not from the US or they are not US citizens (just like me). A 10 year China visa is not available in most European countries. So it’s not a matter of going through the process and paying for it only once but every single time... WHY, if you don’t need to?!

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On 2/7/2019 at 5:08 AM, mom says said:

Elmo, without knowing your specific itinerary, it's not possible to give you 100% surety on the 144 hr transit without visa. Like the PP, we just returned from Connie via Shanghai and had no problems whatsoever (other than the awful 3 hr wait standing in the immigration line)

 

However we are aware of one couple who did have a big problem with it. It was their travel agents fault. Their return flight from Shanghai to London had a connection in Hong Kong. This disqualified them from the 144 hr TWOV because our last stop before Shanghai was Hong Kong. They ended up having to leave the ship before we left Hong Kong. 

 

If you arrive into Shanghai from any country outside of China and then sail to another country (that isn't the country you arrived from), the ABC qualification is met. The same thing applies when you return to Shanghai. If your last port was in Japan,  and your return  flight home  doesn't stop in a Chinese or Japanese airport, then the ABC qualification is again met.

 

As for extra photocopies of your passport, flight reservations, and hotel confirmations, I'd recommend making several extra copies. The ship managed to lose the ones we gave them. TWICE!

 

There had to be a different reason than a connection in Hong Kong.

 

According to all sources of information, be it the website of Shanghai Immigration or numerous visa centers and info sites,  Hong Kong counts as a third region in terms of immigration affairs

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10 hours ago, Miaminice said:

 

There had to be a different reason than a connection in Hong Kong.

 

The problem as I read it is that they were not Country A-B-C compliant - their specific itinerary was HOng Kong - Shanghai - Hong Kong because the last cruise port prior to Shanghai was Hong Kong AND the flight home goes through Hong Kong. Hong Kong IS a separate region for TWOV purposes, but you still can't go there immediately before and after a Chinese city to be TWOV compliant.....

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1 minute ago, Hoyaheel said:

 

The problem as I read it is that they were not Country A-B-C compliant - their specific itinerary was HOng Kong - Shanghai - Hong Kong because the last cruise port prior to Shanghai was Hong Kong AND the flight home goes through Hong Kong. Hong Kong IS a separate region for TWOV purposes, but you still can't go there immediately before and after a Chinese city to be TWOV compliant.....

 

Totally agree with you Hoyaheel.  You cannot go HK - Shanghai and back to HK.

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2 hours ago, Hoyaheel said:

 

The problem as I read it is that they were not Country A-B-C compliant - their specific itinerary was HOng Kong - Shanghai - Hong Kong because the last cruise port prior to Shanghai was Hong Kong AND the flight home goes through Hong Kong. Hong Kong IS a separate region for TWOV purposes, but you still can't go there immediately before and after a Chinese city to be TWOV compliant.....

 

That is correct! Overread that it was also the port before.

 

Got confused because other post were questioning HK in general. HK isn‘t a problem as long as it is not the same port before and after Shanghai.

 

Edited by Miaminice

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14 hours ago, Miaminice said:

 

There had to be a different reason than a connection in Hong Kong.

 

According to all sources of information, be it the website of Shanghai Immigration or numerous visa centers and info sites,  Hong Kong counts as a third region in terms of immigration affairs

Yes, our last port before arriving in Shanghai was Hong Kong. And their first stop after leaving Shanghai was Hong Kong, where they had to connect to their London flight. So they didn't meet the ABC (3 Different countries) requirement. 

Edited by mom says

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