Question
Asked by LAANDREWS | Sep. 10, 2019 12:02
About:144-Hour Visa-Free Transit

144 hour visa exemption Shanghai

I was told to check with the Consulate first to make sure that we would qualify but now I am even more confused after speaking to someone at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. I am planning to fly from the US to Hong Kong on American Airlines and staying in Hong Kong for three nights. Then I would fly from Hong Kong to Shanghai on Hong Kong Airlines and stay in Shanghai for three nights. Then I would fly on American Airlines back to the US from Shanghai. We had originally thought of flying to Hong Kong and then to Shanghai and back to Hong Kong and then back to the US but were told this wouldn't work. So now the legs are US-Hong Kong-Shanghai-US. I thought they were only concerned about the flights in and out of Shanghai and so Hong Kong would be point A and Shanghai would be point B and US would be considered point C. But the lady at the consulate said that it had to be one big itinerary and one ticket and since the US is my starting and ending point and I am stopping in Hong Kong and Shanghai, it won't be considered under the transit visa and I would have to apply for a Chinese visa. I am so confused. I tried booking through one company to have one itinerary but it seems strange that they only allow this if you aren't allowed to go home. Will this only work if we fly from US to Shanghai and then to Hong Kong and then home to the US? From what I have read on this forum, A and C can both be Hong Kong.

Answers (5)
Answered by ZUPAN | Sep. 10, 2019 13:49
00Reply
I assume that your post is one below. OK, there you can read the explanation and the reason why your itinerary is eligible for 144 hour visa free transit.

In general, calling and talking to the embassies/consulates is usually a waste of time because they simply have no reliable information about this visa free transit options. They belong to the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs and the real address for this question is Chinese immigration. Entirely different section of their government.

OK, leave it aside because everything you should do is to book your tickets for the journey:

US - Hong Kong - Shanghai - US

Your daughter:

Tokyo - Hong Kong - Shanghai - Tokyo.

This is all perfectly eligible for 144 hour visa free transit. Just be relaxed and enjoy your travel :)
Answered by ZUPAN | Sep. 10, 2019 13:51
00Reply
Just to reassure you... Separate tickets are perfectly fine.
Answered by LAANDREWS | Sep. 10, 2019 21:36
00Reply
Thank you
Answered by Lauren from USA | Sep. 11, 2019 09:07
00Reply
One other question. It says step one is to inform the carrier at check in. Since we are flying US to HK you Shanghai to US I figure this part would be when we check in at HK to fly to Shanghai. We are flying HK Airlines from HK to Shanghai. Do the Airlines notify immigration when we check in so when we get to Shanghai they know we are okay with the 144 hr exemption or do we just notify then so they allow us on the plane without a visa? I ask because I have seen many stories where the airline won’t allow people to board because they don’t know what they are talking about with the TWOV. I tried calling HK Airlines to confirm and the lady said they don’t have anything to do with it since they don’t need visas for Hong Kong-which I know is the case but I just wanted to make sure they understand the situation and we aren’t stuck there and not allowed to board the flight to Shanghai
Answered by Saul | Sep. 11, 2019 11:59
00Reply
You are over-thinking this. When an airline agent looks in your passport for a visa, you tell them you are in transit without visa and show your printed onward ticket. This may be at check-in and/or boarding. The airline do send details of all passengers to Chinese immigration (it is an API country) but you don’t need to worry about that. There is nothing to worry about, and your route is very common and normal. It is also a waste of time calling the airline or consulate.
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