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Miaminice

Shanghai/China 144 hour visa free transit explained

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12 minutes ago, Nicole721 said:

Hi all! I'm hoping someone here can help, as Royal Caribbean has been unable to provide us any clarification when we reached out:

 

We'll be on the Spectrum of the Seas later this month. Our cruise ends in Shanghai (starts in Singapore, so we won't be in China beforehand), and as we'll be going from Hong Kong to Shanghai back home to the United States, we should qualify for the 144-hour visa exemption (we'll be flying back home the same day we disembark the ship in Shanghai).

 

My question is, we have a late flight (6:30 PM) out of PVG, and we were planning on taking the ship's city tour with airport transfer. What we're unclear on is if using the 144-hour exemption would cause us to miss the tour (we heard lines may be longer and it could take hours?) or if we would need a traditional visa.

 

Does anyone have experience with leaving the ship/Shanghai with the 144-hour exemption?

 

Many thanks!!!!

I can help with this. So your last port before reaching Shanghai is Hong Kong so you won’t be able to use the 144-hour exemption, but as your flying out of China the day of disembarkation, you can just use the 24 hour visa-free transit. For that, you just need several copies of your airline ticket back home clearly showing you flying out of Shanghai within 24 hours of disembarkation printed out: one for RCCL when you check in in Singapore, one for immigration in Baoshan, and extras just in case. Lines could be slightly longer but hours is an exaggeration, it’s more like 5-15 minutes. In addition within the first couple days of your cruise, check with Shore Excursions as even though you are legally allowed in China for 24 hours without a visa, they may not allow you to join the private tour without an actual visa as they would be held liable if you didn’t leave China.

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6 minutes ago, BaikG said:

I can help with this. So your last port before reaching Shanghai is Hong Kong so you won’t be able to use the 144-hour exemption, but as your flying out of China the day of disembarkation, you can just use the 24 hour visa-free transit. For that, you just need several copies of your airline ticket back home clearly showing you flying out of Shanghai within 24 hours of disembarkation printed out: one for RCCL when you check in in Singapore, one for immigration in Baoshan, and extras just in case. Lines could be slightly longer but hours is an exaggeration, it’s more like 5-15 minutes. In addition within the first couple days of your cruise, check with Shore Excursions as even though you are legally allowed in China for 24 hours without a visa, they may not allow you to join the private tour without an actual visa as they would be held liable if you didn’t leave China. 

 

Thank you so much! This is SUPER helpful 🙂

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I can’t speak to the specifics of your itinerary and the visa (I did 144 hour exemption but closed loop Shanghai) but as far as lines - I went in March and the line was long but there were many, many excursion buses for the city tour / airport transfer. I wouldn’t worry about missing it. One thing I’ll share from my experience with the 144 hour visa - I brought multiple copies of everything , it really is at the specific agents discretion....they did NOT except my printed itinerary from the airline as proof of departure because it was printed out over three pages and my name wasn’t “close enough” to the flight into (passenger details we’re listed on the third page) I happened to have gotten a text message from the airline that there was a gate change on my flight - and showed them the text on my phone and that was sufficient - very strange! I had multiple hard copies and electronics copies of everything because I heard it can sometimes be tricky! 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, BaikG said:

I can help with this. So your last port before reaching Shanghai is Hong Kong so you won’t be able to use the 144-hour exemption, 

 

That's not true. Hong Kong - and Macau - are Special Administrative Regions (SARS) and count as different "countries" from the perspective of the TWOV Country A-B-C policy.

Edited by Hoyaheel

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7 hours ago, Hoyaheel said:

 

That's not true. Hong Kong - and Macau - are Special Administrative Regions (SARS) and count as different "countries" from the perspective of the TWOV Country A-B-C policy.

Yes I know that however 144-hour exemption would not work as the last port before entering Mainland China is Hong Kong which is the same port after Shanghai. For the 144-hour exemption, there must be a third country so (anywhere but HK - Shanghai - HK)

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7 hours ago, BaikG said:

Yes I know that however 144-hour exemption would not work as the last port before entering Mainland China is Hong Kong which is the same port after Shanghai. For the 144-hour exemption, there must be a third country so (anywhere but HK - Shanghai - HK)

 

You missed the fact that Nicole721 is not returning to HK but leaves Shanhai to the US. So it is HK - Shanghai - USA which makes the 144h-visa excemption rule applicable.

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Yikes! Why not just get the visa to be sure?

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3 hours ago, sippican said:

Yikes! Why not just get the visa to be sure?

 

😉 by now we all l know you belong to the „get a visa no matter what“ group.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Miaminice said:

 

😉 by now we all l know you belong to the „get a visa no matter what“ group.

 

 

Yes, but not "no matter what", but if it's unclear or questionable. Not worth risking my vacation.

Edited by sippican

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Thanks again for all the help, all!

 

As to the suggestion that we just get the visa to be sure, it's really not worth it in our situation -- we'll be in Shanghai for less than 12 hours before flying home and we have no immediate plans to return in the foreseeable future, so going through the hassle and cost associated with securing a visa really isn't worth it. Worst case scenario, we skip the city tour and go right to the airport. Hardly seems like not having a visa would put our vacation at risk here -- we're going home that same day regardless 🙂

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Question.....  If our Cruise arrives in Shanghai, and our flight out to NYC (2 days later) is a one stop (change flights) in Baiyun Intl. (CAN) does this invalidate the 144 waiver?  

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20 minutes ago, FredT said:

Question.....  If our Cruise arrives in Shanghai, and our flight out to NYC (2 days later) is a one stop (change flights) in Baiyun Intl. (CAN) does this invalidate the 144 waiver?  

 

I would say yes as you are flying from China to China and then Canada.

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2 hours ago, Betty in Cozumel said:

 

I would say yes as you are flying from China to China and then Canada.

CAN is the airport code for Guangzhou Baiyun Intl. Airport. 

 

Cruise to Shanghai, 2 days, fly to CAN, then to New York.  

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2 hours ago, Philob said:

CAN is the airport code for Guangzhou Baiyun Intl. Airport. 

 

Cruise to Shanghai, 2 days, fly to CAN, then to New York.  

 

OK sorry I misunderstood.  But you still don't qualify as you are flying China to China and not a 3rd country.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2019 at 12:43 AM, FredT said:

Question.....  If our Cruise arrives in Shanghai, and our flight out to NYC (2 days later) is a one stop (change flights) in Baiyun Intl. (CAN) does this invalidate the 144 waiver?  

 

The 144 hr visa exemption is not applicable if there is a stop within China on your outgoing flight. See post #1 for details.

Edited by Miaminice

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I will not have a 'return ticket' until i get to the final destination. Of the 3 documents, all I will have is my US passport, ship's itinerary and a print out of my flight reservations. Will that be enough?

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On 5/3/2019 at 9:35 AM, BaikG said:

I can help with this. So your last port before reaching Shanghai is Hong Kong so you won’t be able to use the 144-hour exemption, but as your flying out of China the day of disembarkation, you can just use the 24 hour visa-free transit. For that, you just need several copies of your airline ticket back home clearly showing you flying out of Shanghai within 24 hours of disembarkation printed out: one for RCCL when you check in in Singapore, one for immigration in Baoshan, and extras just in case. Lines could be slightly longer but hours is an exaggeration, it’s more like 5-15 minutes. In addition within the first couple days of your cruise, check with Shore Excursions as even though you are legally allowed in China for 24 hours without a visa, they may not allow you to join the private tour without an actual visa as they would be held liable if you didn’t leave China.

I will have a 'receipt' for my return flight but not the actual ticket until I check in at the airport. What can I use as proof for a return flight back to the US?

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1 hour ago, Denverbri69 said:

I will not have a 'return ticket' until i get to the final destination. Of the 3 documents, all I will have is my US passport, ship's itinerary and a print out of my flight reservations. Will that be enough?

yes they accepted a print out of our flight reservation 

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Since your cruise is over,   did anyone have problems  with the 144 hour visa?  I'm on a cruise in April 2020 visiting Shanghai and it appears that some insist we need to apply for a regular passport.

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43 minutes ago, Racetimer said:

we need to apply for a regular passport.

 

I hope you meant visa as you absolutely need a passport.

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We did this cruise. We stayed in Shanghai an extra 2 nights after disembark and flew home to US (US citizens). Absolutely no problem getting 144 hr waiver. 

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19 hours ago, Racetimer said:

Since your cruise is over,   did anyone have problems  with the 144 hour visa?  I'm on a cruise in April 2020 visiting Shanghai and it appears that some insist we need to apply for a regular passport.

 

It all depends on your itinerary! See start of this topic...

Some itineraries make using the visa exemption impossible. With others it´s no problem at all.

And then you will always find a group of people who say: "you need a visa no matter what".

If you let us know about your itinerary, we can look at it...

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We start in singapore........... then on to vietnam,  hong kong, (1 night)  and then Shanghai (1 night) and then on to Japan.  By the Chinese Visa site, it indicates that we are eligible for the 144 free visa.  But,  some people have posted that is not so. Some have indicated that regardless of what China says..... The cruise can require it. (that makes no sense)

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The most important components are the stop IMMEDIATELY prior to Shanghai and IMMEDIATELY after. Nothing else matters for that instance of TWOV eligibility. If your itinerary is Hong Kong - Shanghai - Japan and you are only in Shanghai 1 day, that is eligible.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Racetimer said:

We start in singapore........... then on to vietnam,  hong kong, (1 night)  and then Shanghai (1 night) and then on to Japan.  By the Chinese Visa site, it indicates that we are eligible for the 144 free visa.  But,  some people have posted that is not so. Some have indicated that regardless of what China says..... The cruise can require it. (that makes no sense)

 

As Hoyaheel wrote, your itinerary looks OK in terms of the transit regulation - as long as there are no other stops in China. In terms of visa Hong Kong is not considered China.

 

If you are in doubt, I would like to mention another option:

There is another regulation that you can do group tours shorter than 15 days with a licensed tour operator without a visa. Some paperwork is required and done by the tour operator.

Contact chinahighlights.com to book a private tour. They are a licenced tour operator and highly recommendable. FYI: A group can be two people only. 

 

Edited by Miaminice

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