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bubbachief

New Shanghai Visa Requirement?

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Just got this from Celebrity regarding our November 23rd Millennium cruise one day stop in Shanghai.

Is this something new or same requirements as before?

 

Shanghai, China

 

- Currently there are 17 countries that are not required to have a visa for China including: Singapore, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Barbados, Bahamas, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Mauritius, Republic of San Marino, Seychelles, Serbia, Tonga, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belarus, Qatar, Brunei.

 

- Unless your nationality is visa-exempt for China, you will need to obtain a single-entry Chinese visa to go ashore.

 

- Please note, the Chinese Embassy has introduced fingerprint collection for visa applicants. Ensure that you allow adequate time to obtain your Chinese visa as you may need to make an additional appointment to submit your fingerprints.

 
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Just spoke with my TA. She called Celeb and cannot get a confirmation of anything regarding the 24 hour exemptions. They have given her various answers from “ you should be ok” to “ it’s not for us to advise”....Celeb Covering their butts...(.She is trying to get a response from the Chinese embassy ..( we are Canadian)

  from all I’ve found on the web today, because we ARE going from Japan to China (Shanghai) then we make that technical stop in Korea before continuing to Taiwan we are ok. It’s only if you go from Shanghai to Taiwan or to another mainland China stop that negates the visa. Having said that I’m not an expert and am only offering my personally obtained info that I interpret from various websites.

  I will update when I get a sure fire definitive answer from my TA.

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That was our understanding also as to why Celebrity added the stop in South Korea after Shanghai.

I really get upset with Celebrity for their wishywashy answers. 

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Posted (edited)

Technically you will be in-transit (but do you have to get a transit visa???).

It's up to Celebrity to tell you whether they will allow you to board without a visa - certainly they told passengers on cruises that STARTED in Chinese ports (but no mid-cruise Chinese ports) that they must have a tourist visa, even though according to Chinese regs.,transit visas on-arrival were good enough.

On cruises which ENDED at a Chinese port & with no Chinese ports of call Celebrity didn't require that folk had visas.

I can't be sure whether you need a visa to go ashore at a Chinese port of call, but it's most certainly Celebrity's responsibility to tell you whether THEY will permit you to BOARD without a visa. And you need their reply in writing (e-mail, not phone or via a TA.)

 

was the top sticky on this forum any help?

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

Edited by John Bull

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Diego Da Monkey said:

Shanghai to Taiwan or to another mainland China stop that negates the visa.

 

Taiwan is NOT "China" and would count as a different country in terms of China's A-B-C TWOV (transit without visa) policy. A, B & C must all be different countries, with B being China 😉 [in terms of TWOV, Hong Kong is also not counted as "China"]

 

bubbachief- what matters is how long you'll be in China, and the ports/destination immediately prior & after your port. That's what China cares about.

 

What Celebrity cares about is a mystery to me ;-0

 

It's hard for me to feel bad for cruise companies who want to CYA, because the rules are so hard for people to understand, they're not posted easily online to see (they are in Timatic, which many airline websites have) and they vary by nationality of passport, so why should a cruise company be responsible for keeping that info up to date? They're gonna be yelled at & disparaged online if someone doesn't have the right paperwork and can't cruise, so in their shoes - I'd probably tell everyone to get a visa too! 😉

Edited by Hoyaheel

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1 hour ago, Hoyaheel said:

 

Taiwan is NOT "China" and would count as a different country in terms of China's A-B-C TWOV (transit without visa) policy. A, B & C must all be different countries, with B being China 😉 [in terms of TWOV, Hong Kong is also not counted as "China"]

 

bubbachief- what matters is how long you'll be in China, and the ports/destination immediately prior & after your port. That's what China cares about.

 

What Celebrity cares about is a mystery to me ;-0

 

It's hard for me to feel bad for cruise companies who want to CYA, because the rules are so hard for people to understand, they're not posted easily online to see (they are in Timatic, which many airline websites have) and they vary by nationality of passport, so why should a cruise company be responsible for keeping that info up to date? They're gonna be yelled at & disparaged online if someone doesn't have the right paperwork and can't cruise, so in their shoes - I'd probably tell everyone to get a visa too! 😉

We go Japan to Shanghai to South Korea. Fourteen hours in Shanghai.n Celebrity added the South Korea stop because of the ABC country requirement. Given that, I don't understand why Celebrity is saying we require a single entry visa

We should be eligible for the 24 hour transit visa. 

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Don't say transit visa. That's a different thing - a G visa. What you're looking for is TWOV - Transit WITHOUT Visa. So if your itinerary meets China's requirements for TWOV, you just need to figure out if Celebrity will let you board or not. They can do whatever they want, right or wrong....

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I posted this on another thread - this confusing information has been going on for what seems like forever.  Why mess with China?  Do you really want your vacation screwed up for $150?  Get a visa.

 

And I was just reading another thread about this and a poster asked if someone really wants to give up their hard earned money just for peace of mind and the answer for me is definitely, "yes."

Edited by mek

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22 hours ago, mek said:

I posted this on another thread - this confusing information has been going on for what seems like forever.  Why mess with China?  Do you really want your vacation screwed up for $150?  Get a visa.

 

And I was just reading another thread about this and a poster asked if someone really wants to give up their hard earned money just for peace of mind and the answer for me is definitely, "yes."

 

And I can just repeat that we travelled to Shanghai both ways - with visa where the exemption did not apply and with the visa exemption wher it applied.

 

If you qualify for the visa exemption (and the rules are clear and explained in a thread here on CC) it is a very straightforward thing. All you need is the copies of cruise or flight confirmation, hotel confirmation if you stay overnight and that is it.
The look at the stuff, put a sticker into your passport and off you go.

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On 10/2/2019 at 2:45 PM, Hoyaheel said:

Don't say transit visa. That's a different thing - a G visa. What you're looking for is TWOV - Transit WITHOUT Visa. So if your itinerary meets China's requirements for TWOV, you just need to figure out if Celebrity will let you board or not. They can do whatever they want, right or wrong....

Well, there you go - the cruise I'm looking at is RT from Shanghai on Princess and they are requiring a visa.  

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4 hours ago, Miaminice said:

 

And I can just repeat that we travelled to Shanghai both ways - with visa where the exemption did not apply and with the visa exemption wher it applied.

 

If you qualify for the visa exemption (and the rules are clear and explained in a thread here on CC) it is a very straightforward thing. All you need is the copies of cruise or flight confirmation, hotel confirmation if you stay overnight and that is it.
The look at the stuff, put a sticker into your passport and off you go.

Tell that to Celebrity,

 

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No doubt that the rules are confusing.

 

Only a few days ago hundreds of British cruise passengers were refused entry for allegedly not having the correct visas.

 

They were apparently trying to use the 144 hour visa exemption to join Quantum of the Seas.

 

An internet search using eg "British cruise passengers refused entry to China" should bring up multiple news items in the results.

Edited by edinburgher

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1 hour ago, edinburgher said:

No doubt that the rules are confusing.

 

Only a few days ago hundreds of British cruise passengers were refused entry for allegedly not having the correct visas.

 

They were apparently trying to use the 144 hour visa exemption to join Quantum of the Seas.

 

An internet search using eg "British cruise passengers refused entry to China" should bring up multiple news items in the results.

 

Sorry to disagree, the rules are not that confusing at all. The problem is that people rely on the cruiseline to give them information. And as we all know, they will not. I even understand that... they don´t want to be responsible and they can´t give one answer which is correct for all nationalities, circumstamces etc.

 

The rule can be summarized in a short statement (assuming that the background of nationality etc. is given):

 

The constellation has to be as following

 

Arriving from coutry A ----> Stay for less than 144 hours within the region (considered county B) ----> leave directly to country C.

A and C may not be the same country.

 

All you need to present is documents showing you will leave directly etc.

It is explained in more detail (showing the forms etc.) here: 

 

Of couse it is up to everyone´s own decision to apply for a visa to be safe.

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Miaminice said:

 

Sorry to disagree, the rules are not that confusing at all. The problem is that people rely on the cruiseline to give them information. And as we all know, they will not. I even understand that... they don´t want to be responsible and they can´t give one answer which is correct for all nationalities, circumstamces etc.

 

The rule can be summarized in a short statement (assuming that the background of nationality etc. is given):

 

The constellation has to be as following

 

Arriving from coutry A ----> Stay for less than 144 hours within the region (considered county B) ----> leave directly to country C.

A and C may not be the same country.

 

All you need to present is documents showing you will leave directly etc.

It is explained in more detail (showing the forms etc.) here: 

 

Of couse it is up to everyone´s own decision to apply for a visa to be safe.

 

 

 

 

Yes, the rules are pretty simple. :classic_smile:

But following them is not. :classic_sad:

 

As Bubbachief's post, everyone booking a Celebrity cruise which ends in China & choosing to follow the generous rules for transit-visas (or TWOVs for those who want to be pedantic) has been told by Celebrity that they must have a tourist-visa or they will not be permitted to board the ship at its (not China) embarkation port..  This isn't merely "relying on the cruiseline to give them information", it's being required by the cruise line to obtain a tourist visa for which the grief & hassle as well as the cost appears to be unnecessary.

 

A number of Brits, apparently selected at random, arriving in Shanghai by air to board Quantum otS were refused entry and told that they must fly out - effectively back home, or to the ship's first port-of-call, in Japan. But some family members were permitted to enter and continue as planned.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1188687/cruise-ship-chaos-royal-caribbean-cruise-china-jail

I don't know the full circumstances, but I can't imagine any which apply to that cruise & not other cruises, or which apply to some family members but not others. 

A very unsatisfactory situation.

 

Will I get a full China tourist visa instead of a transit visa?

No - this nonsense has put me off ever visiting China again.

And if I ever get the same unwarranted grief using my ESTA in the States (entry isn't guaranteed - like China and the rest of the world,  acceptance of visas & waivers is at the whim of immigration officials) It'd put me off ever visiting the States again. 

 

JB :classic_smile:

ps Apols for quoting Miaminice's entire post, it refused to be edited.

 

 

 

 

Edited by John Bull

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A Visa is a process similar to a passport, where Chinese officials do background checks, and various other checks to insure you are welcomed in their country and it last for 10 years.  Without the visa, being allowed into the country without a background check is risky and Chinese immigration official at the border will have the final say. You are basically at their front door, with an immigration officer that has the full authority to deny you entry because they don't like the way you look, or having a bad day, or because one of your documents have a small rip in the corner. 

 

You have a choice....and the better choice is the Visa.

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2 hours ago, Joseph2017China said:

A Visa is a process similar to a passport, where Chinese officials do background checks, and various other checks to insure you are welcomed in their country and it last for 10 years.  Without the visa, being allowed into the country without a background check is risky and Chinese immigration official at the border will have the final say. You are basically at their front door, with an immigration officer that has the full authority to deny you entry because they don't like the way you look, or having a bad day, or because one of your documents have a small rip in the corner. 

 

You have a choice....and the better choice is the Visa.

I don't have a problem if I would be denied entry at a China port, I would just stay on the ship.

My issue is to have Celebrity imply I can't get on the ship in Japan because I don't have a visa.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, bubbachief said:

I don't have a problem if I would be denied entry at a China port, I would just stay on the ship.

My issue is to have Celebrity imply I can't get on the ship in Japan because I don't have a visa.

 

 

The port is China, so therefore you would be in China illegally.  China is a complicated place and a place you don't want to argue your logic.  They are in charge.  The last thing Celebrity wants is to have their passengers arrested or detained.

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miaminice, you said: Sorry to disagree, the rules are not that confusing at all.

 

We travelled before the most recent changes, went in person and took our cruise itinerary with us.The staff did not know whether we should have single or multiple entry and discussed it amongst themselves for a time. As they could not agree, we opted for multiple entry to be sure.

 

If it is no longer confusing, then some progress has been made.

 

I don't agree that cruiselines should give entry info to passengers. IMHO it the responsibility of each individual to check for themselves and only from official sources.

 

The official UK FCO govt. website has this included in the section of entry requirements:

 

The British Embassy in Beijing has received reports of a recent increase in cases where entry to China under the visa waiver on arrival scheme has been refused, which may be linked to previous travel history. You should note that entry to China under a visa waiver is not guaranteed - Chinese border officials have the right to refuse entry without warning or explanation.

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4 hours ago, Joseph2017China said:

A Visa is a process similar to a passport, where Chinese officials do background checks, and various other checks to insure you are welcomed in their country and it last for 10 years. 

 

That depends on the nationality of the passport. Not all nationalities are permitted 10 years, AND 10 years is not guaranteed - the Chinese authorities can do what they want (despite totally valid paperwork, I was denied a 10 year business visa twice 😉 I was granted 1 yr multiple entry, but had to reapply as my visits spanned more than 1 year. I have heard the tourist visa 10 yr is far more easily granted. But still - not guaranteed.....

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2 hours ago, Joseph2017China said:

The port is China, so therefore you would be in China illegally.  China is a complicated place and a place you don't want to argue your logic.  They are in charge.  The last thing Celebrity wants is to have their passengers arrested or detained.

You are right. I'm just whining about having to spend a bunch of money on a visa that I may not need and even if I have it, may not allow me in to the country if an Immigration official is having a bad day or doesn't like my looks.

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2 hours ago, edinburgher said:

miaminice, you said: Sorry to disagree, the rules are not that confusing at all.

 

We travelled before the most recent changes, went in person and took our cruise itinerary with us.The staff did not know whether we should have single or multiple entry and discussed it amongst themselves for a time. As they could not agree, we opted for multiple entry to be sure.

 

 

I was talking about the visa exemption rules... 

 

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I understood you were referring to visa exemption rules.

 

I was giving an example of our own experience with actual visa applications, and also the reference to the FCO info re visa waivers as indicators of the lack of clarity that even officials seem uncertain about on some occasions.

Edited by edinburgher

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As mentioned we have travelled to China multiple times using both, a regular visa and the visa exemption rule. 

 

Applying for the visa required paperwork and a fee. However, the visa service used made sure it was the right visa and all went without problems - which is the norm. That was for a cruise. In business matters we had to apply China visas for our workers multiple times. Also without problems. So I tend not to evaluate a system by the negative exceptions.

 

 

Edited by Miaminice

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I looked up the current/latest visa application process at our NY PRC Consulate Ofice - application form is same as before, nothing about fingerprinting but the 10 years, multiple re-entry tourist/visitors visa - apparetly - no longer granted.  Max is now multiple re-entry for 1 year only, same fees & processing time as a single entry visa ... thus, I suggest applying for multiple entry ones instead, just in case.  

 

The application form - appears to ask for more/extra info in details than before (vs. the last time we apply & traveled with it) - it is sort of reciprocal or mutal in nature, if CBP or border control are asking for "extra" details for travelers to the USA, they are doing the same when "foreigners" are applying to go there - a two-way street, so to speak (same for the fees charged.) 

 

We are planning a trip to Asia next Spring, possibly doing a short stay while in transit, probably with the Beijing airline hub ... we should qualify for the visa waiver but, probably will make sure our group will have valid visas - just in case.  I call that protecting our travel & vacation investment and to not be stranded at an airport hotel or worst, be denied boarding somewhere else. 

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8 minutes ago, mking8288 said:

 the 10 years, multiple re-entry tourist/visitors visa - apparetly - no longer granted. 

In the past - despite offering a 10 year multiple entry visa (for Americans) it was not a checkbox on the application - but in Section 2.2, select "Other" and type it in (as a request....). Honestly, I don't know that I've ever seen an application WITH a box marked "10 year" visa.....

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