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Six-day visa-free transit on offer in Kunming, other cities, beginning January 1

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Kunming will join several other Chinese cities in offering 144-hour 'visa-free transit', beginning January 1, 2019. The new policy is an extension of an existing 72-hour policy first put into effect in select cities in 2013. Below are the rules and regulations associated with visa-free transit as it pertains to Kunming only. Please note, other cities — Beijing, Chengdu, Liaoning, Qingdao, Shanghai, Tianjin, Wuhan and Xiamen — have similar but somewhat different policies.

Who can obtain the visa?

Passport holders from the following 53 countries are eligible for 144-hour visa-free stays in Kunming:

Asia: South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar

European Schengen countries: Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Other, non-Shengen European countries: UK, Ireland, Russia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Belarus, Monaco

North and South America: United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile

Oceania: Australia, New Zealand

What are the current requirements

Passport-holders from the above countries must have travel plans that follow the requirements listed below:

• Their only stop in mainland China is Kunming Changshui International Airport. Multiple domestic stops are prohibited and visa-free transit is not available at any other Yunnan airport.
• Passengers must arrive in Kunming from Country A and then leave for Country C within 144 hours. A and C should be different countries and cannot include a second stop in China. You cannot return to your departure Country A upon leaving Kunming. Countries A and C can also include Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
• At least three months validity on current passport.
• Proof of airfare — including assigned seat number and confirmed date — to Country C. Land and water ports are not acceptable.
• A valid visa for entry into Country C if necessary.
• A properly filled in China arrival/departure card.

Once I get the visa, where can I go?

Travelers utilizing the 144-hour visa-free transit policy are allowed to visit sites and stay in hotels only within the jurisdiction of Kunming City. This is an enormous area not simply limited to the traditional city limits, but encompasses places like Dongchuan Red Land (红土地) to the north and the Stone Forest (石林) to the south. Please understand, those visiting Kunming using the 144-hour visa-free transit system are currently not allowed to visit any other prefectures in Yunnan province.

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Comments

So if i have friends from Europe that want to visit me, they don't need to arrange a visa in advance? Because they would travel like this: Europe—>Kunming stay less than 144hours —> HongKong, stay a few hours at the airport —> Europe.

The only potential sticking point that I could see is if the visitor needs to show a hotel evidence of a hotel stay.

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