Asked by NB from UK | Apr. 23, 2024 06:14
About:72-Hour Visa-Free Transit

Using 72 hour twice in 10 days

I am travelling from London to South Korea on business, and would like to stop in Shanghai on my way to meet with a friend – I have no business activities in China. I plan to reach Shanghai on Sat 1 June and will fly to South Korea on 2nd June in the evening or 3rd June in the morning. I will not be spending more than 72 hours in Shanghai. On the return leg of my trip from South Korea back to London I plan to stop in Shanghai again, either for 1 night on 9th June or just to transit whilst I catch a flight back to London on 10th June. I will be booking separate tickets, LHR to SHA return and SHA to ICN return, so in both cases I will have to clear immigration in Shanghai.

Please can you advise if I will be able to utilise the 72 hour transit visa exemption on both occasions as I transit in Shanghai twice, or if I will need to apply for a visa with multiple entries or 2 separate visas.

I am a British Citizen with a British passport and I live in London.

Answers (3)
Answered by Borut | Apr. 24, 2024 00:20
Part 1:
Yes, you will be perfectly allowed to use visa free transit options and you do not need any kind of visa. Also, it is allowed to have unlimited number of visa free transit through China in any period of time.

Just to explain shortly... Based on your itinerary and your citizenship, you can use both 24 or 144 hour visa free transit based on the length of your layover in Shanghai. Just to mention that 72 hour visa free transit was replaced by more generous 144 hour visa free transit long years ago. So, if your layover in Shanghai is shorter than 24 hours, you will be eligible for 24 hour visa free transit and if your layover is longer just a minute than 24 hours, you will be eligible for 144 hour visa free transit. Now, it is up to you to decide which option you will use based on your practical needs and your personal choice.

It is perfectly fine to travel on separate tickets and here you should just have in mind to allow enough time for your transfer in Shanghai if you decide not to stay an overnight on your way back from South Korea because you will have to cross the immigration, collect your luggage, perform new check-in and arrive on time at the gate for your flight back to London. OK, I am more than certain that you are well aware of this detail.
Answered by Borut | Apr. 24, 2024 00:21
Part 2:

In any case, regardless of the length of your layover in Shanghai and having in mind that you will travel on separate tickets, the first thing you will do upon your both landings in Shanghai is to approach the transit counter. So, the transit counter first where you will apply for a temporary entry permit by presenting your flight tickets and preferably your accommodation booking confirmation. It is advisable to print out these documents and to have them at hand. because it will speed up the entire procedure. By the way this application is free of any charge. When you are granted a permit, you will just proceed to the immigration. That's it.
Answered by NB from United Kingdom | May. 12, 2024 04:55
Thank you Borut - this has been very helpful! I was also a little unclear on whether i would be OK with separate tickets for LHR-PVG return and then PVG-ICN return, but you suggest that is just fine. Thank you again.
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