Self-service immigration machines to offer paper records

Self-service immigration channels to offer entry and exit paper records for passengers keen to avail of VAT refunds and visa cancellations.

Passengers availing of self-service immigration clearance service in Shanghai will get a paper record of their travels in and out of the country.

Up to 5.25 million passengers have used the channels, up 90 percent year-on-year, in 2017, according to the Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection.

The service, available to Chinese and expatriates with permanent residence or permits valid for six months or longer, is gaining in popularity as it takes on average 10 seconds to clear immigration. But it also inconveniences those who need records of entering or leaving the country for VAT refunds and visa cancellation.

Those holding Schengen visas or those from other countries have to get their visas canceled on their return home. Failure to do so may mean hurdles in obtaining repeat visa to the region or countries.

Previously, visitors to Schengen, an area comprising 26 European states, had to wait in long queues to get their passports stamped.

Yesterday, 34 self-service printing machines were put into use at the city’s two airports, Pudong and Hongqiao, and cruise ports, Shanghai and Wusongkou, allowing passengers to print their inbound or outbound record. 

It acts like a passport stamp, border inspection officials said.

Shanghai has 139 self-service immigration clearance channels — 113 at airports and 26 at cruise ports. 

Pudong International Airport, the busiest airport on the Chinese mainland, plans to open 17 extra channels. Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, the biggest cruise terminal in Asia, will also add some new channels, officials said.

Last year, 43.75 million people used Shanghai to enter or leave China. 

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