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Query about 24 hours transit without visa

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Query about 24 hours transit without visa

Hi, I have a 7.5 hour transit in Guangzhou on my way to Auckland on Southern China airlines. On replying to my query, a Southern China official in the Line office emailed me that I am not eligible for TWOV as my transit is not greater than 8 hours, but I cannot find this restriction anywhere. Not even on their website! Please could anybody tell me whether I can visit the city for a few hours? Thanks

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1. Re: Query about 24 hours transit without visa

Sorry meant London office, I am a British citizen btw.

San Francisco
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2. Re: Query about 24 hours transit without visa

From Chinese embassy website

1. What requirements foreign nationals have to meet to apply for the 72-hour transit visa exemption?

Answer: There are 3 requirements: 1) Citizens from the 51 countries under the 72-hour Transit Visa Exemption Program; 2) Foreign nationals with valid international traveling documents and air ticket for a through air ticket with confirmed date of flight and seat for a third country (region) traveling within 72 hours; 3) Transit passengers from Capital Airport of Beijing, Pudong or Hongqiao Airport of Shanghai, Baiyun Airport of Guangzhou or Shuangliu Airport of Chengdu for a third country (region).

2. Travelers from what countries may apply for the 72-hour transit visa exemption?

Answer: Travelers from the 51 countries may apply for the 72-hour transit visa exemption, which are: 1) 24 Schengen countries in Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland, Poland, Portugal, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 2) 13 other European countries: Russia, Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania. 3)6 American countries: The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile. 4) 2 Oceanian countries: Australia and New Zealand. 5) 6 Asian countries: Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

3. How can a foreign national that meets the requirements for the 72-hour transit visa exemption apply for it?

Answer: A foreign national that meets the requirements may submit his/her request to the airline company that carries him/her and the airline company or the passenger him/herself shall make the application to the border control authorities that shall grant a temporary entry of a passenger meeting the requirements for transit visa exemption upon verification.

4. Can a traveler apply for the 72-hour transit visa exemption when no exit air ticket is bought at the time of entry but he or she plans to purchase the air ticket for a third country leaving within 72 hours after entry?

Answer: According to the requirements, a foreign national applying for the 72-hour transit visa exemption must hold the air ticket for a through air ticket with confirmed date of flight and seat, i.e., the exit air ticket is already in place before entry. Therefore, this facilitation measure does not apply to a foreign national that does not have a confirmed air ticket for a through air ticket leaving within 72 hours.

5. Does this measure apply to a foreign national coming to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Chengdu from a certain country (region) with a confirmed air ticket for flying back to the same country (region) where he or she comes from within 72 hours with confirmed date of flight and seat?

Answer: According to the requirements, the 72-hour transit visa exemption measure is for a foreign national passing through the allowed transit Airport for a third country or region. Therefore this measure does not apply to a passenger traveling from New York, USA, and stopping over at Beijing on his/her way to Los Angeles, USA.

6. Can a foreign national leave Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Chengdu for another Chinese city after getting the 72-hour transit visa exemption? What should be done in case a foreign national who has the 72-hour transit visa exemption cannot leave China within 72 hours due to some special reason after entry?

Answer: A foreign national obtaining the 72-hour transit visa exemption at the airports of Beijing, Shanghai or Chengdu may not leave the administrative precincts of Beijing, Shanghai or Chengdu. A foreign national obtaining the 72-hour transit visa exemption at the airport of Guangzhou may leave the city of Guangzhou but not travel beyond the administrative precincts of Guangdong province. In case of need to leave the precinct for some special reasons, the passenger must apply for a visa to the exit-entry administration department of the municipal public security authorities of Beijing, Shanghai or the province of Guangdong, Sichuan as required by the law.

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3. Re: Query about 24 hours transit without visa

Thanks, I was actually asking about the 24 hour TWOV not the 72 hour one as my transit is only 7.5 hour. She said I can't request 72 hour one as my transit is less than 24 hours.

San Francisco
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4. Re: Query about 24 hours transit without visa

Frankly you don't really have enough time to venture far anyway.

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5. Re: Query about 24 hours transit without visa

Thanks, I don't want to venture far, I just want to go into the city for experience and have a local meal, there is enough time for that I believe. But it looks like I will be stuck in the airport.

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6. Re: Query about 24 hours transit without visa

The 24 hour visa free transit requirements for Guangzhou (CAN) have recently (within the last 2 weeks or so) been changed in the IATA Timatic data. This database is used by the airlines to determine international documentation (passport/visa) requirements, including the requirements for transit without visa in China- both 24 hour and 72/144 hours programs.

Two notes have been added to the Timatic data specific for CAN under the requirements for visa free transit during multi-stop transits of 24 hours or less:

"Transiting without a visa is possible for:

Holders of confirmed onward air, cruise or train tickets for a max. transit time of 24 hours. Transit incl. multiple stops within China (People's Rep.), with a total transit time of max. 24 hours, is permitted. They must travel to a third country."

The first note specific to CAN is: "This does not apply at Guangzhou (CAN)." Which I take to mean you cannot transit anymore through CAN if making multiple stops during your transit through China.

The second note is: "Holders of confirmed onward air tickets in transit through Guangzhou (CAN) to a third country, for a max. transit time of 24 hours." Likely meaning transit without a visa through CAN is allowed when CAN is your only transit stop in China during a transit stop of 24 hours or less.

There is nothing added that states you can or cannot leave the secure air-side of the terminal during the 24 hour or less transit. This has always been at the discretion of the immigration officer to allow exit from the secure area or not during transit.

The requirements for the 72 hour TWOV in CAN appears to be unchanged in the Timatic data. However from what you've been told by CS, it appears that if your transit is 24 hours or less, even with a single transit stop, they are not allowing you to apply for the 72 hour TWOV (assuming you qualify for it). Could just be a bad interpretation of the new Timatic data for CAN or could be new policy.

Other recent posts though have indicated that passengers in a 24 hour or less transit through CAN have been restricted to staying air-side during the layover and I guess you won't really know until you ask at immigration if you can leave to the main terminal and beyond.

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7. Re: Query about 24 hours transit without visa

Thanks JohnP1950, CAN is my only transit on way to Auckland both ways. I was emailed the following notice by Southern China main office that there's a stricter inspection:

Dear passengers,

According to the latest notice, from today, except for those who are making a direct transit in the airport within 24 hours (without leaving the port restricted area), foreign nationals with an international-international transfer via Guangzhou without a valid China visa who will be needing to apply for a 24-hour temporary entry permit at an immigration inspection authority at Baiyun Airport, please be aware of our stricter border inspection procedures. The results of the inspection will be subject to the interpretation of the border guards.

Some nationalities who, based on the relevant policies, can enter China visa-free can apply for immigration clearance in accordance with the relevant regulations. In addition, passengers who meet the requirements of the 72-hour visa-free transit policy can apply normally with the relevant materials.

For foreign nationals needing to enter China (for transit accommodation or stopping over in Guangzhou on an international flight), or who hold a valid China visa before transiting: If you cannot provide a valid visa, you will likely be refused entry. You can either go through procedures for a 24-hour direct transit or be turned back. Please closely follow the changes in transit policy to ensure a pleasant journey.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

China Southern Airlines Company Limited

I just try my luck and see what happens!

California
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8. Re: Query about 24 hours transit without visa

Interesting - thanks for posting their email, which makes the policy as clear as mud. So it does appear, that you can transit in CAN, but may or may not get approval to leave the secure area of the terminal during your layover.

Before, it was pretty standard to get this approval.

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9. Re: Query about 24 hours transit without visa

I know! It's not clear what they'll be looking at, I will report back next month whether I've been successful..

Prague, Czech...
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10. Re: Query about 24 hours transit without visa

Yes, please reply back after your visit. Thank you in advance.

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