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My current plan is to go from Melbourne, Australia to Almaty, Kazakhstan. I am an Australian citizen. The flight itinerary is shown below, but it transits through Guangzhou and I noted that Wikipedia (not the best source) says that:

both flights must have no stopovers of any kind within Mainland China prior to arrival or after departure at the port of entry, and the outbound flight's first stop or destination must be in a different country than the inbound flight's

However, I am assuming that since I don't officially pass Chinese Immigration until Beijing, this doesn't count. But can someone confirm this?

Also do the times match up for the 144-hour visa?

In Kazakhstan I can get a visa on arrival.

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You're not eligible for the 144-hour visa exemption, as you would need:

  • to be entering China in GZ; You're not.
  • and leaving China from somewhere in Guangdong. You're not.

In Beijing you are probably not eligible for the 72-hour visa exemption, as you're arriving from a Chinese city.

However, since you arrive in CAN at 15:20 and leave PEK at 05:55 (+1), you are eligible for 24-hour transit without a visa.

  • If you don't pass customs isn't your entry given in Beijing? – atx Jan 3 '18 at 6:51
  • No. For the purpose of the 74/144-hour visa, there can be only one stop within China. You must arrive from overseas, and leave to a third country, directly. – user67108 Jan 3 '18 at 7:29
  • [and it's Immigration, not Customs. Customs are the guys checking your luggage, whereas Immigration are police, checking your passport and documents]. – user67108 Jan 3 '18 at 7:31
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    OP does not qualify for the 24h rules as he intends to stay for six days between flights. There are additional restrictions for 24h visa-free transit in CAN apparently. – mts Jan 3 '18 at 9:34
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    Yeh I haven't been saying the right thing here, I think Australians are actually visa-free. – atx Jan 3 '18 at 11:20
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You will need a Chinese transit (type G) visa

However, I am assuming that since I don't officially pass Chinese Immigration until Beijing...

That's wrong: you'll clear immigration in Guangzhou, then catch the Beijing flight from the domestic sector. And if flying domestically in transit, you can remain in China no longer than 24 hours, whereas you're staying for 6 days.

So again, you need at least a transit visa. It can be issued as a single or double-entry visa for a stay of max 10 days per entry.

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tl;dr: you need a visa for the proposed itinerary.

We have a general thread for visa-free transit in China: What are the rules for China's visa-free transit programs?

Your itinerary does not work out for a number of reasons:

  • you are passing immigration in China, wherever your first stop is, i.e. in your case CAN. That is also what counts for the visa-free transit rules.
  • For 72h/144h visa-free transit, you need to transit from a direct flight from abroad (country A) to another direct flight to abroad (country B) while staying in the same city/region, i.e. no domestic connecting flights.
  • you could qualify for 24h visa-free transit (where the regional restrictions are lifted, though see the added restrictions for Guangzhou in the linked post), but for this your planned stay of about six days is too long.

Therefore you require a visa, or you would need to enter Beijing on a direct flight from abroad.

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