China Visas, Customs, Immigration And Quarantine
Planning in advance is crucial when flying into China. With few exceptions, all foreign crew and passengers must hold valid passports and visas prior to arrival in the country. Since crew and passenger information must be provided in advance to obtain landing permits, Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) officers may not allow you into the country if you arrive without the proper documentation. Note that Hong Kong and Macau have their own entry regulations and may require additional visas.
Crew and Passenger Visas
Obtaining a visa after arriving in China is generally not possible. Most crew members should obtain a “C” visa, with the exception of Russian crew travelling on Russian registered aircraft transiting between Russia and China (who do not need a visa). Crew may be allowed to enter China with other types of visas (for example: G – transit, M – business) at certain Airports of Entry (AOE) with prior arrangements. These airports include but are not limited to:
- Beijing Capital Airport (ZBAA)
- Shanghai Hongqiao (ZSSS) and Pudong airports (ZSPD)
- Guangzhou Baiyun Airport (ZGGG)
- Shenzhen Bao’an Airport (ZGSZ)
Passengers should apply for the type of visa that corresponds to the reason for your visit, typically “M” for business or commercial activities (click here for a list of visa types). Tourist visas (type “L”) are not allowed for people arriving by business jet.
Apply for the visa as far in advance as possible through the Chinese Embassy, or contact your Jetex representative to obtain the visa for you. In addition, ensure your passport is valid for the entire length of your stay in China.
Transit Without Visa Policy
Passengers from 51 nations may be able to transit China without a visa (TWOV). If you fly from outside China to one of various AOEs, stay in that airport’s city for less than 24 or 72 hours, and then fly to a different country, you can apply for a visa-free transit stay. You will need a valid passport, visa for the onward country(ies), final destination tickets and confirmed seats on the outbound aircraft. While these rules generally apply to passengers on confirmed commercial flights, your Jetex representative may be able to apply for a TWOV on your behalf.
Immigration procedures vary from airport to airport. At some airports, the CIQ officer may board your plane to conduct temperature scans of passengers and crew. AOE airports in the larger cities have CIQ availability in the FBO or VIP terminal. In smaller cities, you may need to clear CIQ at the general terminal.
At some facilities, arrangements can be made in advance to escort business aviation passengers and crew through a dedicated CIQ lane. Contact your local Jetex representative or our Beijing Operations Center for assistance.
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Alternatively, read more about other permits and permissions required when flying to Asia Pacific.