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Miaminice

Shanghai/China 144 hour visa free transit explained

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Hi,

 

since this is a confusing topic I thought I´d try to explain the visa exemption rules in simple terms.

Please note that this is no legal advice but rather the information I collected before travelling to Shanghai myself under the 144 hour visa exemption rule. Please doublecheck if you are citizen of a country to which the rule applies.

 

In simple terms the 144 hour visa exemption can be called the three country rule.

You need to travel from country A to country B (China) and leave to country C within the 144 hours.

 

Applied to cruises this translates as following:

The stop before China has to be another country than China. On many cruises that would be South Korea or Japan.

The country you are leaving to has to be a third country and can not be China or the country you arrived from. You need to leave on a direct flight or a flight with no stops within China. Hong Kong in this case is not considered China and would be OK.

 

Example:

Jeju, South Korea sailing to Shanghai, leave within 144 hours to the US or the UK = OK

 

The documents you need are copies of you cruise itinerary, hotel reservations and flight tickets as prove that you are leaving within the 144 hours.

 

Here is some further explanation of the procedure on the cruise. This is how it is done on Celebrity.

However, since this procedure fulfills the immigration requirements it should be of interest for passengers of other cruise lines as well.

 

Before the end of the cruise you will receive a blue transit immigration card. On Celebrity Millennium it came with the shown letter explaining which documents you need to present during immigration. The documents were already checked by Celebrity during embarkation.

 

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Here´s also a link to a website giving understandable information:

https://www.traveltothemagic.net/visa-free-travel-shanghai-disney-resort/

 

Yes, it is not an official website. However, it puts into simple terms what can be found on official websites of Chinese immigration departments, Shanghai customs etc. like this one:

http://www.sh-immigration.gov.cn/listPageEn.aspx?lx=40&id=4414

 

BTW: we arrived in China/Shanghai two times - one time without visa, one time with a visa (because we had more stops in China).

Both times it took the same time to pass immigration, there were no shorter or longer lines.

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Thank you for posting.

 

To put this in perspective, how much does it cost to get the visa?

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Thank you for posting.

 

To put this in perspective, how much does it cost to get the visa?

 

If US citizen, currently $140 for a Chinese tourist visa. Doesn't matter if it's one time or multiple entry, 3 months or 10-years, same price $140 for Yanks.

 

Photos and visa service extra.

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Thank you for posting.

 

To put this in perspective, how much does it cost to get the visa?

 

For a US Citizen around 150 USD plus some time, some forms and some trips or mailing of the passport.

 

However, please do not forget that there are not only US citizens cruiseing and reading here. The type of visa offered varies from country by country. We in Germany for example can not apply for a ten year visa. It is a single entry or multiple entry visa valid for a certain number of days only. So citizens of these countries would have to apply on ever single trip! That sure is another perspective than a 10 year visa, isnt it?

 

We did our trips both ways and I surely prefer the visa free way if possible. If you are able to get a 10 year visa and plan to go more often... sure, why not?!

 

I read your posts in other threads and accept your point of view. This information is just to show that the transit rule is really not as complicated as some fear and that most of the information spread is not correct or involves a lot of fear mongering. The decision of what to make of it plus the responsibility to see if the rules apply from case to case are up to every individual traveler.

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Thank you for posting this information/ It is very hard to interpret what is on the internet. We will be cruising from Tokyo fro 14 nights including South Korea. We are spending 3 nights in Shanghai. After some research and speaking to friends I decided to apply for a visa. It was $142 CDN and is good till 6 months before our 10 year passports expire (8 years) for leisure entry only. I went to the VISA office and did it myself. The agencies wanted upwards of 300$. Am I correct to understand you can only obtain Chinese Currency n China?

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If US citizen, currently $140 for a Chinese tourist visa. Doesn't matter if it's one time or multiple entry, 3 months or 10-years, same price $140 for Yanks.

 

Photos and visa service extra.

 

Keeping in mind that price applies to people such as yourself whom live close to a Chinese embassy. It is substantially higher for those that need to have a third party do the processing.

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Hi,

 

since this is a confusing topic I thought I´d try to explain the visa exemption rules in simple terms.

Please note that this is no legal advice but rather the information I collected before travelling to Shanghai myself under the 144 hour visa exemption rule. Please doublecheck if you are citizen of a country to which the rule applies.

 

In simple terms the 144 hour visa exemption can be called the three country rule.

You need to travel from country A to country B (China) and leave to country C within the 144 hours.

 

Applied to cruises this translates as following:

The stop before China has to be another country than China. On many cruises that would be South Korea or Japan.

The country you are leaving to has to be a third country and can not be China or the country you arrived from. You need to leave on a direct flight or a flight with no stops within China. Hong Kong in this case is not considered China and would be OK.

 

Example:

Jeju, South Korea sailing to Shanghai, leave within 144 hours to the US or the UK = OK

 

The documents you need are copies of you cruise itinerary, hotel reservations and flight tickets as prove that you are leaving within the 144 hours.

 

Here is some further explanation of the procedure on the cruise. This is how it is done on Celebrity.

However, since this procedure fulfills the immigration requirements it should be of interest for passengers of other cruise lines as well.

 

Before the end of the cruise you will receive a blue transit immigration card. On Celebrity Millennium it came with the shown letter explaining which documents you need to present during immigration. The documents were already checked by Celebrity during embarkation.

 

ttpi-wqEMSG37yIdmI6m1tM8U4oDq8rSGoTm3t1t3NNQ-vH-xGCAveOs-0LGOBJAFE6SzpFcgoNQhivMsGei8y2ZqjYzc20xP5aNRxYeedIyuZlVtZOmR0KjMUmsI7slmSiE3EB5Qpl_dFiYP6IeTf2swWZ4KYgKxRkiwWs4JbUPk1RTqTZZikC0gOCZp5I_h980ZzB0v4kow2rAFC_uee5bmPi8n5vMiATeY4RyUFdTd8BCGmWn5YCcg9DoMyZh4lwcL5O4jdprsDb8k0au257YqGsRAUGPf1_h0YmgpPOTLKap5ZopGGIl4tySXpBwDLlg6DQQGJZ08-8YuO_bXeZcoalm_Dy5-9fEAlo3rDY6oZk1EHrPQqwlMlOERIs50vszF4w0b9-lSISyf0eJ7cdkS6YzAdupjPvdDVcx0KYteKg9BBJrQM9Ws3ffXPjXQg1Bky0RylluLThPuulYtwGFvGp6exfcl1-L0KRN5GB6XoIDELNgd2bu9WOZJsiPDPLlMCaK0DZLTU058n1yS3s-bD2H86NUhHwoAqBSdQGE0R4X880KlD8Q1y9VdHjJh2gh51ZcvkPFM11lJnkekMJwXcHwPd53-_6SwkaQ=w768-h658-no

 

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Here´s also a link to a website giving understandable information:

https://www.traveltothemagic.net/visa-free-travel-shanghai-disney-resort/

 

Yes, it is not an official website. However, it puts into simple terms what can be found on official websites of Chinese immigration departments, Shanghai customs etc. like this one:

http://www.sh-immigration.gov.cn/listPageEn.aspx?lx=40&id=4414

 

BTW: we arrived in China/Shanghai two times - one time without visa, one time with a visa (because we had more stops in China).

Both times it took the same time to pass immigration, there were no shorter or longer lines.

 

Thank you so very much! I’ve been trying to find someone who sailed Celebrity and actually experienced this transaction. We’re from the US. Will be on Constellation in January. Cruise ends in Shanghai (prior port before Shanghai is Hong Kong). We plan to stay in Shanghai 2 nights then fly home (via Vancouver, Canada to change planes) to Portland Oregon. This seems to be in compliance with 144 day visa waiver policy. Does this sound ok to you? I’ve emailed Chinese consulate for a confirmation. Don’t know if they’ll respond.

For some reason Celebrity just can’t give me a straight answer! Thanks so much!!

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Keeping in mind that price applies to people such as yourself whom live close to a Chinese embassy. It is substantially higher for those that need to have a third party do the processing.

Yes, 3rd party processing ups the price considerably. I just paid about $300.00 for my DD's Chinese visa including the FedEx charges (there and back). Even though we live not too far from the Chinese Consulate (downtown Los Angeles) the easy online application and mailing was much easier than her taking the day off and going in person to do it herself. I mailed everything to the visa service company on a Monday (non-express request) and had her visa back to us on Thursday...Yes, I paid for this convenience...but worth it to me.

 

So excited for this mother/daughter trip middle of the month.

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At the Chicago Chinese Consulate only 10 yr. visas are available. Also same day service is not available. When you submit your app. they tell you when to come back to pay for and pick up (3-4 days) your visa. They will not mail them to you. Also the person applying for visa need not be the person submitting app. I saw people receiving over 100 visas in a box. Hope this helps.

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Ok so if I am reading this right we should be ok with the 144 hour visa, arriving in Shanghai after our celebrity cruise then leaving 2 days later travelling to Thailand?

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Ok so if I am reading this right we should be ok with the 144 hour visa, arriving in Shanghai after our celebrity cruise then leaving 2 days later travelling to Thailand?

 

If you are arriving to Shanghai from another country than China or Thailand and you are leaving to Thailand on a direct flight... then yes.

 

Which cruise / itinerary are you booked for?

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If you are arriving to Shanghai from another country than China or Thailand and you are leaving to Thailand on a direct flight... then yes.

 

Which cruise / itinerary are you booked for?

 

 

We are on the January 20, 2019 on the Connie. Our port before Shanghai is Hong Kong, still good right?

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We are on the January 20, 2019 on the Connie. Our port before Shanghai is Hong Kong, still good right?

 

Yes - assuming you fit the other requirements, because for this purpose HK isn't regarded as part of China (even by the Chinese immigration service)

 

JB :)

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We are on the January 20, 2019 on the Connie. Our port before Shanghai is Hong Kong, still good right?

 

Yes, Hong Kong is not considered China when it comes to the transit regulation - so HK before or after (not and though) Shanghai is OK.

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On ‎8‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 8:08 AM, sippican said:

To put this in perspective, how much does it cost to get the visa?

 

I believe there is no charge for the 144 hour Visa Free Entry as you are not actually applying for a Visa  - it is free provided you meet the criteria

 

Can someone confirm that this is the case

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Thank you! 

I think that since many are unsure as to if they qualify for the 144 visa, the question is, how much does a regular visa cost?

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16 minutes ago, sippican said:

Thank you! 

I think that since many are unsure as to if they qualify for the 144 visa, the question is, how much does a regular visa cost?

 

You asked exactly the same question on August 18. :classic_laugh: 150 USD and some time!

 

Edited by Miaminice

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14 minutes ago, Miaminice said:

 

You asked exactly the same question on August 18. :classic_laugh: 150 USD and some time!

 

I am well aware of that 🤨 I was replying to Stickman, hence the quote! Perhaps I should have said - the question “was”.

Edited by sippican

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2 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

Any answer to my question? - is there any charge for the 144 hour Visa exception?

 

No, there is no charge!

All you do is fill out the forms on board, present the above listet copies at immigration and that´s it.


Sippican, in many differen´t threads, makes it a point that a real visa is the safer thing to get.
Well, he should!

My opinion: if one is unsure and feels better with it... why not?!

But it is not the only way. If one doesn´t have to spend the money and time, why do it?!

This whole post is just an information about the rules and the conditions as well as procedures. It is no recommendation what to do. 

Edited by Miaminice

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Mid 2017 we were seeing articles online that China was going to expand the 144 hours visa free to the Tianjin/Beijing area in Dec 2017. All I saw was a savings of at least $450 dollars that could be shifted to more important things such as tours. 

It was cut and dry that we qualified, we were arriving by cruise ship from Korea and after three days in Beijing flying home to the USA. Our concern was having Royal Caribbean not recognizing it and refusing to let us board in Singapore because the exemption was so new to that area. I ended up emailed the CEO's office where I got an email acknowledging from Royal we could use the 144 hour exemption. Once we arrived on the ship in April it was apparent that they not only knew of the exemption they had a process in place to handle all the people getting the exemption. 

The process was a little slow once we arrived in Tianjin but we were in the parking lot locating our guide by 10 am even though we had to be processed through two separate line to satisfy the Chinese officials. I didn't think that was an unreasonable delay considering the money we saved. 

Now that this exemption has been in place for over 10 months I wouldn't hesitate using it again. 

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4 hours ago, Miaminice said:

 

No, there is no charge!

All you do is fill out the forms on board, present the above listet copies at immigration and that´s it.


Sippican, in many differen´t threads, makes it a point that a real visa is the safer thing to get.
Well, he should!

My opinion: if one is unsure and feels better with it... why not?!

But it is not the only way. If one doesn´t have to spend the money and time, why do it?!

This whole post is just an information about the rules and the conditions as well as procedures. It is no recommendation what to do. 

 

 I agree completely, and that was my point. When weighing the cost in relation to the entire trip, it makes sense to err on the side of caution IMHO. 

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