Home China Guide Beijing Tour Planning Beijing 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy

Beijing 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy

Beijing 72-Hour Visa-Free TravelPassengers from 51 countries enjoy 72-hour visa-free transit in Beijing.

72-hour visa-free travel to Beijing began on January 1st, 2013. Foreigners are allowed to stay for up to 72 hours within Beijing Municipality without a visa.

Travelers from 51 countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, and most countries in Europe, with an onward flight from Beijing to the third country/region are able to benefit from this policy.

Which Countries Qualify?

  • Americans (of 6 countries): the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and the Republic of Chile.
  • European Citizens (of 37 countries): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Albania.
  • Oceanians (of 2 countries): Australia and New Zealand.
  • Asians (of 6 countries): South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. 

What Documents Are Needed?

passportA valid passport is needed.
  • A valid passport
  • An Arrival/Departure Card (completely filled in)
  • A visa for a third region or country if required
  • A ticket with a confirmed seat number for the next flight that leaves within 72 hours

Important Things to Know

  • Travelers can stay 72 hours in Beijing.
  • It is a transit visa. Travelers must leave Beijing for a third country (Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are counted as separate regions for transit visa purposes), not for another city in China or for the departure country.
  • This visa does not allow entry into Beijing and exit from the other city. This is a single city visa.
  • An airplane is the only mode of transportation that enables a person to use the 72-hour visa.

Frequently Asked Question

  • 1. Can I apply for a 72 hours transit visa if I don’t have the flight ticket departing from China?

    Applicants who apply for 72-hour visa-free transit in Beijing must hold a valid flight ticket with confirmed date and seat or relevant proof. That is to say, you cannot apply for 72-hour visa-free transit if you haven’t bought the flight ticket departing from China before entering China.

  • 2. Can I enter China by train arriving at Beijing West Railway Station, and leave Beijing by flight within 72 hours?

    No. Application for the 72-hour visa-free policy can be made only at Beijing Capital International Airport.

  • 3. Can I apply for a 72 hour transit visa if I hold a return ticket from the country where I boarded the flight before my entry to China?

    The 72-hour visa-free policy is limited to people who transit from Beijing to a third country. Therefore, foreigners who depart from and return to the same country are not eligible to apply for the visa.

  • 4. Can I leave Beijing or stay over 72 hours?

    No. During the 72-hour visa-free transit, foreigners must stay in Beijing, and leave China from Beijing Capital International Airport. Leaving Beijing or staying longer than 72 hours is not allowed.

    If a stay in Beijing of over 72 hours is required, application is needed for a China visa through Entry-Exit Administration Department of Beijing Municipality Public Security Bureau. Overstaying or leaving Beijing from other ports without a China visa will be handled according to relevant laws and regulations and penalties are severe.

  • 5. Are security check and inspection exempted for 72-hour visa-free foreigners?

    Foreigners who enjoy 72-hour visa-free transit are required to go through security check and inspection. To avoid the spread of epidemics, inspection and quarantine department at the port will set up special channels for fast and efficient passing of 72-hour visa-free transit, and will use methods like infrared temperature monitoring and X-ray screening.

  • 6. Can I bring pets when entering China on this visa?

    Companion animals belonging to travelers on 72-hour visa-free entry are subject to inspection and quarantine in the place specified by the inspection and quarantine unit. When 72-hour visa-free foreigners leave China, their companion animals must exit under supervision by inspection and quarantine staff.

    Assistance dogs such as guide dogs and hearing dogs carried into China by 72-hour visa-free foreigners can accompany the 72-hour visa-free foreigners during their stay, provided that they pass airport inspection and carry the necessary valid certificates.

    When 72-hour visa-free foreigners leave China, their assistance dogs must exit at the same time with them under supervision by inspection and quarantine staff.

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