The Beijing municipal government announced the introduction of a 72-hour visa-free stay in Beijing to be enjoyed by select nationalities.  The list of 45 countries includes Australia, Canada, Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, whose nationals must currently apply for a visa to travel to the PRC. 

From 1 January 2013, citizens from the select 45 countries may apply for a transit without visa at Beijing Capital International Airport and stay for a maximum of 72 hours subject to the following conditions:

  • Hold a third country visa and plane ticket, to demonstrate transiting onward to a third country after the visit to Beijing.
  • Carry identity/travel document at all times.
  • Register with the local police (registration available through some hotels) within 24 hours of arrival in Beijing.

Shanghai has a similar visa-free policy for travelers in transit.  Nationals of Brunei, Japan, and Singapore already enjoy visa-free travel to the PRC for a 15-day visit.