Layover In China? Get a 24 Hour Visa!

Did you know you don’t need to apply for a visa to check out some parts of China? Well, neither did I before my latest trip through Beijing. I was on my way to Taiwan, however I had a long layover( about 10 hours) in Beijing on the way to Taiwan, then I had another layover( 22 hours) on the way back from Taiwan to the United States.

With such lengthy layovers I wanted to know if I would be able to go outside of the airport and check out Beijing, try some food and get out of the airport. So I looked online and found that some people back in 2018 had written about getting a temporary visa. I read varying accounts online, some people said they could even get a visa up to a few days not just 24 hours. With this information, I would definitely want to check out that situation when I got to Beijing.

After my short fourteen hour flight from Bush Intercontinental Airport to Beijing, I got there at 4:30 A.M., the airport was nearly empty and I wandered around asking the helpful yet clearly not happy staff if they could help me find a temporary visa so I could go out of the airport and come back.

A couple of airport workers told me to go in a particular direction to get the temporary visa, however it didn’t seem right at the time, it looked like I would be going into the wrong part of the airport so I just proceeded to go through security to get ready for my other flight which was 8 hours away. after going through security I realized I had made a mistake, and I should try to go back and ask somebody how I can get a temporary Visa. Thus, I spent the next hour and a half drinking coffee and using the Mandarin I was familiar with to ask security and staff members how to get back up past security and get a temporary Visa.

After going through some funny situations with limited understanding, I ended up back at the top of the airport where arrivals come through, from there I followed the instructions of the airport staff and went to the proper place to get my temporary visa.

Here is the deal on the temporary visa to China. If you go to China, at least in Beijing, and you have a ticket to leave China, then you should you be able to get a temporary visa for up to 5 days (144 hours). If you find yourself in Beijing for a very long layover, or if you would like to schedule a multi trip flight and go from China to another country but spend a couple days in China, you can actually do so with a temporary visa system.

First, you have to go through the normal process as somebody who is trying to get into the country by giving them your fingerprints and make a copy of your passport. Then you get in line and fill out a short pamphlet which describes where you are going to be staying while you are there for the temporary visa, and when is your flight out. Once you finish filling out the paperwork you hand it over to the staff who will ask to either see your next boarding pass out of China or your itinerary. Once they confirm your itinerary or boarding pass then they will give you your temporary visa and you are free to go, or wait in the long-ass line that all foreigners must go to before getting into China.

Let me know if you have any questions!

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