China / Society

Foreign tourists violating visa-free policy

By YU RAN in Shanghai ( Updated: 2016-08-10 19:03

Since the implementation of the 144-hour visa free transit policy on January 30, more than 15,000 foreign tourists have applied the method to enter Shanghai for a short stay until the end of July, according to the Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection.

More than 14,000 of the tourists took the transit in Shanghai Pudong International Airport before flying to another destination afterwards.

However, some of the foreign tourists were found violating the visa-free transit policy by returning to their origin instead of following the regulation to take it as a transit for another destination.

Within the half year, more than 60 tourists have been punished for fines or warnings as they didn't follow the policy to travel to another destination.

Some of them bought the return tickets directly and some purchased both round trip and one-way ticket to a random destination but tried to board the plane with the return ticket, as Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection found out.

A police officer from the Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection suggested the foreign travelers should follow the entry and exit regulation and apply the 144-hour visa-free transit policy properly, otherwise they would face punishments and wouldn't be benefit from the convenience further.

In July 2015, a dozen of measures were issued by the Ministry of Public Security to allow more expats to apply for permanent residences, loosen the requirements for domestic talents to process their entry and exit documents in Shanghai and come out a 144-hour visa-free transit policy that provides foreign tourists and businessmen from 51 countries who arrive in Shanghai, Jiangsu province (Nanjing Lukou airport) and Zhejiang province (Hangzhou Xiaoshan airport) with more flexibility and convenience.

Only those tourists who get on hold with valid dated traveling tickets to a third country or region are applicable for the 144-hour visa-free stay in the city.

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