Beijing Transit Without Visa
China has recently introduced a Transit Without Visa (TWOV) program for passengers connecting via Beijing and staying less than 72 hours in China. As a result, U.S. citizens who meet these criteria no longer require a China visa. This includes U.S. citizens who purchased Air China flights from Gate 1 and who are connecting via Beijing with a 2 night stay.
Non-U.S. citizens should check the Beijing Capital International Airport's website at http://en.bcia.com.cn/server/notice/72visafree/ to determine if they are eligible for the TWOV program. This applies to approximately 45 nationalities.
Eligible travelers should present their onward airline e-tickets as well as an entry form provided at the airport to immigration officers on arrival into Beijing Airport. Upon check-in at the hotel, the hotel will make a copy of their passport then the hotel will file with local police. No further action is required. While this new leniency is still new, long lines and extended wait times are common to process visa free applications. To expedite immigrations formalities, you may still choose to obtain a Chinese tourist visa in advance.