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In transit? Stay longer in more cities

By Aybek Askhar | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-10-24 09:27
Passengers go through the procedure of 24/144-hour International Transfer at the Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Dec 28, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Overseas travelers from 53 nations can get visa-free entry for 144 hours

More Chinese cities will offer 144-hour visa-free transit services to foreign travelers from 53 countries from Dec 1, the National Immigration Administration said on Wednesday.

Foreign travelers from the designated countries are allowed to stay up to 144 hours in these cities with valid travel documents and connecting tickets to a third country or region. The application can be made at the international airports of these cities.

Sichuan province, which already has a 144-hour visa-free transit service in Chengdu, will extend the service to 11 other cities in the province, including Leshan, Yibin, Meishan and Deyang.

It will also be offered in Chongqing municipality; Xi'an, Shaanxi province; and Ningbo, Zhejiang province, the administration said.

"These cities are the key areas of the Belt and Road Initiative," said Chen Bin, spokesman of the administration. "More opportunities and cooperation concerning business, travel and culture are expected to be brought to the cities as a result of the new policy."

The list includes major cities across China, such as Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai municipalities, as well as Hangzhou, Zhejiang province; Qingdao, Shandong province; Wuhan, Hubei province; and Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

"Thirty border ports in 23 cities of 18 provinces are now eligible to offer the visa-free transit services, and 452,000 foreign passengers have taken advantage of the policy since it began in 2013," said Jia Tongbin, deputy director of the foreigner management division under the administration. "We believe that the policy will provide a tourism boost for the cities and propel their development as hubs for international flights."

Since 2013, the State Council has approved 72-hour visa-free transits in 18 cities for eligible international travelers and later extended the period to 144 hours in a number of cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Shijiazhuang and Shenyang.

On Jan 1 this year, cities including Xiamen, Fujian province, and Kunming, Yunnan province, also implemented the policy.

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