New Regulations For 72 Hour Visa Free Transit In Beijing – Application Form And Background Check Required For Stays Over 24 Hours

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China Immigration at Beijing Capital Airport has introduced a new regulation concerning the use of 72-hour Transit Without Visa rule that requires travelers to fill in an application and wait for clearance.

Previously simple presentation of onward tickets was sufficient but now the application form is mandatory for all stays over 24 hours as well as a “background check” that is conducted somewhere in the back office.

Not sure what prompted the changes and if this has been implemented countrywide but Beijing was always more strict with their visa free transit than other areas and also it takes a very long time to process travelers who want to enter under this scheme.

Today it took once again over an hour to clear 11 passengers and those (including myself) who wanted to stay longer than 24h had to fill in the application form (shown below) and had to see their passport wander off into the backroom with on officer. From the looks of it when it return (bend and stretched apart) they copied/scanned every single page of it.

I have written previously and on multiple occasions how the immigration process for this TWOV runs (not very well) in Beijing and that it is a much more professional and expedient experience to use in Shanghai where you can stay double the time (6 days / 144 hours) without a visa.

From the looks of it it appears the authorities in Beijing aren’t all that happy with the TWOV facility and try to discourage people from using (abusing?) it too often, making it a hassle to go through it.

At the same time I recently heard from friends who tried to cheat this system by trying to depart back to thr same country where they came from, only to be told their TWOV have been revoked indefinitely. So China is definitely cracking down on this.


If you plan on using the 3 days (72 hours) TWOV facility in Beijing better bring extra time because the counter isn’t always open either. Then they send you to a different counter every single time which is highly inconsistent and unprofessional for an immigration agency.

Again, from personal experience these procedures are run much better in Shanghai. At the same time I was surprised that the announced collection of biometric data (fingerprints and photos) hasn’t been implemented yet. Once this hits you can expect extensive wait times for any entry to China.

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  • Jary

    many people abuse it. Go to apply 10 years China visa is a problem for you?

    • It actually is due to the simple reason that the 10 year visa is only available to US & Canadian citizens under a reciprocity deal as both countries offer Chinese citizens a 10 year visa option as well.

    • Khaarl

      Pretty hard to get even for US & Canadian citizen with a work permit and being Class A so I doubt Sebastian, a German living in Japan and only travelling to Mainland on business trip would ever get such a visa…

      French expat in Beijing under working visa, Class B (almost A). I just moved to HK, could not take Beijing anymore after almost 10 years.

  • d2zzz

    Used the 72 hour visa three weeks ago through Beijing with no hassles. Probably 50 people in line and three desks processing. Stamped my US passport and hand wrote 72.
    In and out of line in about 20 minutes.
    Sorry to hear they are changing the criteria.

  • jerrymandel

    Not 144 hours now?

    • Khaarl

      Not in Beijing