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I'm from Guatemala and planning to go to Jakarta and most of the flights go through China. I've read about the 24 hour Transit Without Visa (TWOV) program available for most countries. Does this apply to me if the flight from LAX has two stops in China?

Los Angeles (LAX) > Qingdao (TAO) > Xiamen (XMN) > Jakarta (CGK)

The flight arrives in TAO at 5am and goes to XMN at 7am.

Then, it arrives at XMN at 9:30am and leaves to CGK at 6pm.

This would amount to 13 hours in China and I have no plans to leave the airports. Would I have any problems?

Thanks for the help!

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From the Visa Policy (Transit) of China

The 24-hour transit rule allows multiple stops within Mainland China for most airports, as long as the traveler has a flight, cruise or train segment leaving Mainland China in 24 hours, so it is possible to enter through a port of entry in China, take multiple segments of domestic flights within China, and depart from a different port of entry in less than 24 hours. Multi-stop transit is not allowed in some airports listed below.

Distinct from the transit rules of other countries, all travelers in transit may be required to go through immigration and customs even if they do not intend to leave the sterile transit area, except for passengers arriving and departing from Beijing Capital International Airport where they can proceed directly to the sterile transit area without immigration checks.

In short, you are required to use a 24-hour TWOV.

Note: As a general policy, if your transit has a domestic segment, on most cases, you will need to enter the country and will probably get a passport stamp.

From comments:

There is a 24-hour TWOV without an entry permit and then a special transit with an entry permit. Only the second is valid when transiting multiple airports. When transiting without entry permit, you must stay within the one airport's international transit area, and you will not receive any stamp in your passport (ref. Timatic and personal experience.)

  • According to Timatic you can only transit multiple airports if you exit to a third country within 24 hours and you apply for an entry permit upon arrival. Link to Timatic is in that Wikipedia article you linked in the references. And even the Chinese web site (via google translate) that is the reference for your quote says that you need an entry permit. (This is why using sources like Wikipedia is not recommended because anyone can edit it and just because there's a "reference" doesn't mean that it's accurately represented.) – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Feb 19 at 6:13
  • Yes. The person's transit is within 24 hours. Entry permit is on arrival. So, what is the problem you see i taking the 24 hour TWOV ? – Anish Sheela Feb 19 at 6:46
  • Specifically, is there any inaccuracies in the answer that I suggest him to avail the 24 hour TWOV, from airport ? If so, how can I improve the answer? – Anish Sheela Feb 19 at 6:47
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    There is a 24-hour TWOV without an entry permit and then a special transit with an entry permit. Only the second is valid when transiting multiple airports. When transiting without entry permit, you must stay within the one airport's international transit area, and you will not receive any stamp in your passport (ref. Timatic and personal experience.) – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Feb 19 at 7:04
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    So if I understood correctly, I do need a permit (visa) since even if I will stay less than 24 hours, changing airports means I am in a special transit. Thanks for the help guys! – hkimgt Feb 19 at 15:32

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