Starting from November, foreigners wishing to apply for a 144-hour visa-exemption transit can complete forms online and decrease their time at immigration upon arrival, reports Shine.
Promoted by the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of Shanghai Public Security Bureau, the online application system saves travelers the time it takes to finish their paperwork manually at the airport. "It is estimated that the duration for the procedure can be reduced by 20 minutes," advised one bureau employee.
The process of the online application. Image via The Paper
To apply for the 144-hour visa-free transit in advance, passengers must complete a form via the bureau's official website. The application system is bilingual and includes an electronic map, ensuring accurate hotel information is provided. At the same time, the system can automatically recognize those who don't meet the criteria for a visa-free transit and therefore avoids the case of denying them entry in Shanghai.
Once passengers have completed the online form, they will receive a QR code a personalized. After they arrive at the arrival port, they scan the QR code at a self-service machine and a completed arrival card will be printed. Currently, both Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport have installed these machines, and other city terminals will soon follow suit.
Guiding brochures are placed near the machines. Image via The Paper
Since Shanghai launched the 144-hour visa-exemption policy in 2016, over 110 thousand travelers have utilized the process. Now, the policy is open to tourists from 53 countries.
The online application system has been developed for the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE). As a world-class event, the expo will gather manufacturers and purchasers from around the globe. By the event's opening date, the new online application system will have benefitted many more travelers and increased tourist numbers to the city.
Find more news on the China International Import Expo here.
[Cover image via The Paper]