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Shanghai/China 144 hour visa free transit explained

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On 4/13/2019 at 9:18 AM, Christina2019 said:
  • My 14 days cruise with Celebrity Millennium on November 23, 2019 will start from Yokohama then sail to Shimizu, Kobe, Kochi, Kagoshima (Japan) then Shanghai from 6am-8pm. After Shanghai it goes to Cheju ( South Korea), Taiwan and Hongkong.
  • According to what I have read on this forum, I don’t need a China Visa for this stop. I have US passport
  • Can anybody with past experience on this issue help to confirm so I don’t have to go apply for a China Visa just for this stop.
  • Thank you.

 

 

On 4/13/2019 at 9:46 AM, PDXgranny said:

If you are entering Shanghai from a different country (Japan) and departing Shanghai to a different country (So Korea) you will be fine without a China visa. You can get a visa waver. 

The ship should help you with that. The rule for qualifying for a waver (at this time) is that you enter from a different country than China and depart to a different country than China and country you depart to cannot be same country from which you arrived. And you stay in Shanghai no longer than 144 hours. 

We did this Celebrity Nov. 23 cruise and it would seem pretty clear that it would qualify for the visa-free policy (Japan, Shanghai, Korea) and we were from Canada, but OMG, total mess. It wasn't the Chinese authorities that wouldn't allow us into Shanghai but the Celebrity Cruise Ship that wouldn't honor the policy and allow us off the ship. No blue Shanghai immigration forms were distributed prior to port call and only those with visas or prebooked tour with registered operators allowed through the ship immigration procedures. Our concerns at Guest Relations that they were incorrect with their policy fell on deaf ears as their response was that the policy applied only for passengers that will be leaving on a flight (ie. the cruise ends in Shanghai and passenger leaves by plane), which is not what it says. We weren't happy with Celebrity to say the least....

Edited by gslvanbc
fix quote

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On 12/17/2019 at 5:44 PM, gslvanbc said:

 

 

We did this Celebrity Nov. 23 cruise and it would seem pretty clear that it would qualify for the visa-free policy (Japan, Shanghai, Korea) and we were from Canada, but OMG, total mess. It wasn't the Chinese authorities that wouldn't allow us into Shanghai but the Celebrity Cruise Ship that wouldn't honor the policy and allow us off the ship. No blue Shanghai immigration forms were distributed prior to port call and only those with visas or prebooked tour with registered operators allowed through the ship immigration procedures. Our concerns at Guest Relations that they were incorrect with their policy fell on deaf ears as their response was that the policy applied only for passengers that will be leaving on a flight (ie. the cruise ends in Shanghai and passenger leaves by plane), which is not what it says. We weren't happy with Celebrity to say the least....

 

That is total BS.  I would send a letter to Celebrity's Head Office asking for at least your port fees back as you were not allowed on shore because of THEIR MISTAKE.

 

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18 hours ago, Betty in Cozumel said:

 

That is total BS.  I would send a letter to Celebrity's Head Office asking for at least your port fees back as you were not allowed on shore because of THEIR MISTAKE.

 

Celebrity offered us a "Customer Satisfaction" future cruise credit but no explanation for why the 144 policy was not honored, so still unclear what was going on and leaves future passengers confused.

Edited by gslvanbc
correction.

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2 minutes ago, gslvanbc said:

Celebrity offered us a "Customer Satisfaction" future cruise credit but no explanation for why the 144 policy was not honored, so still unclear what was going on and leaves future passengers confused.

 

Sorry you missed Shanghai.  It's a beautiful city down on the waterfront in The Bund. 

 

At least you got something.  We sailed out of Shanghai in March 2019 on the HAL Westerdam and used the TWOV and am planning to do the same thing again when we sail from there again in March 2020.

 

We had a problem at the PVG airport as the agent only gave us a 24 hr TWOV  when our ship was spending the first night in port and we needed a supervisor to change it to a 72 hr stamp so we could leave the ship on the 2nd day.  This wasted about 45 minutes.  This time we'll be ready and make sure the agent gives us the 72 hr TWOV the first time.

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In researching this TWOV topic, one site directs me to this Chinese government website that asks for passport information and a Chinese destination address: https://gaj.sh.gov.cn/crj/144zy.jsp  It then will give us a printout that will work in a scanner at the immigration point to print out the immigration card.   I gather this did not work for some at the airport because the machine was broken and they had to fill in the card manually. 

 

Since we are staying on the Queen Elizabeth ship for a two day stay, will they consider the ship as my Chinese address, or do I have to give them another destination?  

 

I am also going to confirm that Cunard will accept this QR code document to let us off the ship for an independent guide to take us around Shanghai for the day... or even for us to just to travel independently.... as we don't want a surprise like the Celebrity incident mentioned above.  

 

Our cruise comes from Hong Kong and then moves on to South Korea afterwards, so no problem with the ABCs.   

 

Alan

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On 12/21/2019 at 2:23 AM, Darwould said:

I am also going to confirm that Cunard will accept this QR code document

 

My understanding is that the QR code is just a pre-registration.  You are not actually approved yet.  The ship should at least let you down to the area where the Chinese Immigration agents are located so you can ask.

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Hi everyone, I'm part way through applying for our chinese Visa's and just totally confused as to whether we need one (also the application form needs so much information so if I can avoid doing this I'd be so happy). Anyway this is our itinary on Celebrity Millennium: fly uk to hong Kong ( stay overnight in a hotel) then set sail the next day to Taiwan,  Japan,  South Korea, then three nights in Tianjin (China), then South Korea then fly back from Shanghai to UK. I'd be ever so grateful if anyone could confirm either way if a visa is required or if we can use the 144 hour TWOV. Many many thanks. 

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2 hours ago, ilovecruisesme said:

Hi everyone, I'm part way through applying for our chinese Visa's and just totally confused as to whether we need one (also the application form needs so much information so if I can avoid doing this I'd be so happy). Anyway this is our itinary on Celebrity Millennium: fly uk to hong Kong ( stay overnight in a hotel) then set sail the next day to Taiwan,  Japan,  South Korea, then three nights in Tianjin (China), then South Korea then fly back from Shanghai to UK. I'd be ever so grateful if anyone could confirm either way if a visa is required or if we can use the 144 hour TWOV. Many many thanks. 

 

 

From your itinerary, it looks like you’re going South Korea, China, South Korea which would mean you don’t qualify for the 144hr TWOV - it has to be ABC i.e. B being China and A & B being different places (which in your case is the same: South Korea). 

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Hi,

I am also not sure.

if we fly

sydney - singapore And board The cruise from singapore 

arrive tianjing stay tianjing 2 nights

fly from tianjing back to Singapore 

stay singapore 8 days then fly to Sydney. Does this work?

why I’m confused is am I originating from Sydney, Singapore or last port of call prior to tianjing.

Thank you to anyone who can explain this.

cc

 

 

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Last port of call before Tianjin is Japan.

thank you

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We had a reply from Celebrity who advised that we need the visa as we are overnight in China for Tianjin, then leaving then re-entering China to fly back home from Shanghai.

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On 1/5/2020 at 2:05 AM, Coggo said:

Hi,

I am also not sure.

if we fly

sydney - singapore And board The cruise from singapore 

arrive tianjing stay tianjing 2 nights

fly from tianjing back to Singapore 

stay singapore 8 days then fly to Sydney. Does this work?

why I’m confused is am I originating from Sydney, Singapore or last port of call prior to tianjing.

Thank you to anyone who can explain this.

cc

 

 

Only the stops immediately before and after China matter to Chinese immigration. The ABC we frequently note would be Singapore-Tianjing- Singapore (the way you've written it in this post) which is not allowed.

 

If you had any non-China place instead of Singapore before or after, you might be ok (passport and specific length of time also matter)

 

We had a reply from Celebrity who advised that we need the visa as we are overnight in China for Tianjin, then leaving then re-entering China to fly back home from Shanghai.

If Celebrity won't allow you on board without a visa, that is their decision. But I'm confused. TWOV (transit without visa) can be used back to back - provided each case is eligible on its own. But you've already been told that South Korea-Tianjin-South Korea is ineligible, so you knew you need a visa anyway.

 

[if you were doing Japan-Tianjin-South Korea - Shanghai - London - that would be acceptable as 2 separate TWOVs: Japan-China-South Korea and South Korea-China-UK]

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1 hour ago, Hoyaheel said:

Only the stops immediately before and after China matter to Chinese immigration. The ABC we frequently note would be Singapore-Tianjing- Singapore (the way you've written it in this post) which is not allowed.

 

If you had any non-China place instead of Singapore before or after, you might be ok (passport and specific length of time also matter)

 

 

If Celebrity won't allow you on board without a visa, that is their decision. But I'm confused. TWOV (transit without visa) can be used back to back - provided each case is eligible on its own. But you've already been told that South Korea-Tianjin-South Korea is ineligible, so you knew you need a visa anyway.

 

[if you were doing Japan-Tianjin-South Korea - Shanghai - London - that would be acceptable as 2 separate TWOVs: Japan-China-South Korea and South Korea-China-UK]

Thank you,

I am eligible then as last port of call is Japan. I rang the embassy yesterday but no answer, also rang China visa Sydney and they are suppose to be open today.

It is such a pity there are no guarantees with the 144 transit visa. Waiting on email from RCCL. I read on their website to check with visa central, it says no visa necessary but then they say that they would advise however to get visa. Hardly any point having the 144 if maybe maybe not entrance.

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Would like to know if anyone had difficulties with the  free transit visa on a cruise in 2019. We are on a cruise in April 2020 and some folks are having second thoughts......

 

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4 hours ago, Racetimer said:

Would like to know if anyone had difficulties with the  free transit visa on a cruise in 2019. We are on a cruise in April 2020 and some folks are having second thoughts......

 


Situation normal ie being nervous about this 

 

We visited on Crystal Symphony in May 2019 on an overnight in Shanghai - we had no issues using this visa exemption - however we did a half day ships tour but that wasn’t until after we’d caught the ships shuttle to the Bund for a walk around without any issues - so it worked for us 

 

I wouldn’t have liked to have gone out and spent hundreds on a Visa, as some on our cruise did after poor advice from the cruise line and other guests, to discover the waiver worked fine

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Thanks so much,.. If you don't mind... I would like to share your response on our recall.  After posting  china links and information, some folks are insisting on purchasing a regular visa.  At around $150 each,  seems like a waste

 

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6 minutes ago, Racetimer said:

Thanks so much,.. If you don't mind... I would like to share your response on our recall


Feel free and hope it helps. Look back through this thread to early 2018 and I think we posted in here - or do a search on the Crystal boards and you should find a thread. Exactly the same situation with people feeling compelled to go and buy the full Visa 

 

Do note we did a short ships tour - I think it may have been $100 or so and I saw that as both an easy way around the visa and a good way to familiarise ourselves with Shanghai - it worked well on both fronts and we were free to come and go from the ship on our own over the two days we were there (Crystal provided a complimentary shuttle to/from The Bund)

 

We were docked right near the Bund as Symphony was small enough to go right up the river - I believe there’s a cruise terminal elsewhere a little further out for larger ships 

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Thanks again.... We booked an independent tour and most people on our tour will be getting the  free visa... but, a few can't take the pressure and are getting the regular visa. 

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Weve been told by celebrity that we need the full visa due to the itinerary. I was really hoping to use twov but feel I would be so upset if we weren't allowed to fly or board the ship that for peace of mind weve booked our appointment. 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Racetimer said:

Thanks again.... We booked an independent tour and most people on our tour will be getting the  free visa... but, a few can't take the pressure and are getting the regular visa. 

I'm one of those that can't take the pressure!

As I have said on the roll call it's not getting off the ship in Shanghai that worries me it's the fact that Norwegian have told me that if I don't have a visa for China, in my passport, I will not be allowed on the ship in Singapore. I asked them if all 2000 passengers on the Spirit will have a Chinese visa and to quote, "If they are on the ship they will have a visa."

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kayak25

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This afternoon, following an email to Norwegian head office in Miami, I had a phone call informing me that a full Chinese visa will not be needed to board the ship in Singapore. So good news, I will now go ahead with the 144 hour visa and hope for the best.

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I am also booked on the Norwegian Spirit out of Singapore & NCL are still telling me I will not be allowed to board without a full China visa

They do not seem to know anything about the 144 day exemption

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On 1/6/2020 at 1:02 PM, Hoyaheel said:

 

If Celebrity won't allow you on board without a visa, that is their decision. But I'm confused. TWOV (transit without visa) can be used back to back - provided each case is eligible on its own. But you've already been told that South Korea-Tianjin-South Korea is ineligible, so you knew you need a visa anyway.

 

 

 

Just to make sure - I would be eligible for a B2B transit visa for my Best of Japan round trip Shanghai cruise?

 

A.) USA

B.) Shanghai (Board Ship)

C.) Japan

-------

A.) Japan

B.) Shanghai (Disembark Ship)

C.) USA

 

(Note: Both times in Shanghai will be less than 24 hrs.)

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On 1/11/2020 at 2:17 AM, Kayak25 said:

This afternoon, following an email to Norwegian head office in Miami, I had a phone call informing me that a full Chinese visa will not be needed to board the ship in Singapore. So good news, I will now go ahead with the 144 hour visa and hope for the best.

Ok just got this back in writing from NCL

 

Hi Dave, 


Thank you for your patience while I have looked into this for you. 


Our head office have advised the below:



 

The 144 hour visa exemption only applies if a guest is embarking or debarking in a Chinese port. If the guest is only there as a port of call in the middle of the cruise, a visa is required to go ashore.

 

Guests will be denied boarding if they do not have the correct travel documentation, including the appropriate Visa at the time of embarkation.

 

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our reservations team on 1300 255 200. 

 


 

Kind Regards,

Jemma Clarke | Cruise Consultant - Australia & New Zealand

PH: 1300 255 200 | NZ: 0800 969 283 | resoffice@ncl.com | www.norwegiancruiseline.com.au

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

Level 7, 99 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

 

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