Visa-free transit policy to benefit foreign visitors

Updated: 2012-12-07 11:10


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BEIJING -- Air travelers, including US businessman David Brockman, are set to benefit from the announcement that Beijing will start a 72-hour visa-free stay policy for citizens of 45 countries in 2013.

The move will bring much convenience to the likes of Brockman, who frequently flies to China, as getting a visa can currently take up to two weeks.

"As soon as the policy takes effect, I can take advantage of the chance of traveling to other Asian countries and spend three days in China where I can take time to talk with Chinese companies," he said.

From Jan 1, 2013, tourists holding third country visas and plane tickets can apply for a transit without visa, or TWOV, in the capital city at Beijing Capital International Airport, the Beijing municipal government announced on Wednesday.

The 45 countries were listed in accordance with the numbers of inbound overnight visitors in Beijing from 2009 to 2011.

Foreign visitors are not permitted to leave Beijing to other Chinese cities during the 72 hours, and have to depart from Beijing.

Visitors have to register at a police station with their visas within 24 hours of their arrival, according to the government.

The 72 hours will be calculated starting from the moment visitors get their transit stay permits, said Gao Dahua, deputy director of the exit and entry administrative corps of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

Beijing Capital International Airport is the only entry-exit port applicable for the policy, Gao stressed.

The policy may enhance the status of Beijing Capital International Airport as an international air hub, said Gao Lijia, a general deputy manager with the airport.

The airport has seen about 7.6 million inbound and outbound foreign passengers during the first nine months in 2012 and 521,600 out of them are transit passengers, Gao said.

He predicted that the policy will bring 600,000 to 800,000 transit visitors to China in 2013.



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