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If you’re stopping in Shanghai for just a few days of your international journey and you want to wander the city, Shanghai 144-hour visa-free transit is a perfect option.
Besides Shanghai, you can also extend your trip to Jiangsu Province (Suzhou) and Zhejiang Province (Hangzhou).
The nationals of 53 countries are eligible for the visa exemption program, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
With this policy, you can not only travel within Shanghai Municipality but also neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. These are the transit ports you may use:
|Area||Eligible Transit Ports||Permitted Area to Stay In|
|Shanghai||Shanghai Pudong International Airport||Shanghai, Jiangsu Province, and Zhejiang Province|
|Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport|
|Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal|
|Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal|
|Shanghai Railway Station|
|Jiangsu||Nanjing Lukou International Airport|
|Zhejiang||Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport|
This policy requires that passengers must be in transit to a third country or region.
Passengers must have no stopovers of any kind within mainland China before arrival or after departure at the ports in Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang. Your itinerary should be similar to this example:
Departure country →Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang →a third country or region
For example, UK–Shanghai–Australia is an acceptable itinerary as is UK–Shanghai–Hangzhou–Australia (Shanghai and Hangzhou are within the visa-free area so both of them can be in your itinerary).
Hong Kong and Macau are considered to be separate regions to Mainland China for transit purposes, and you won’t need a visa if you transit in either of these Special Administrative Regions (SARs). You can include them in your itinerary like this: USA – Shanghai – Hong Kong – USA.
1) Inform your carrier of your intent to use the 144-hour TWOV.
2) Fill in arrival and departure cards (available on your flights).
3) Apply for the 144-hour visa-free stay at the dedicated counter on your arrival.
4) Claim your luggage, go through customs, and exit the airport.
5) Leave from a designated port within the required time.
Good news: An online application system for a Shanghai 144-hour transit visa exemption is available (https://gaj.sh.gov.cn/crj/144zy.jsp). To eliminate the inconvenience and potential losses of a denied application on arrival, you can log into the system to make your application in advance.
See more information, such as required documents and detailed conditions, on our page: China 144-Hour Visa-Free Policy.
It is called the 144-hour visa-free policy but it is possible to make your stay slightly longer than 144 hours without a visa. The 144 hours start counting down from 00:00 following the day of entry.
The most popular way to get to Shanghai is by airplane through Shanghai Pudong International Airport or Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport but it is not the only option.
Passengers traveling to Shanghai by boat and train can be possible to enjoy this policy.
Besides Shanghai, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province are also included in this 144-hour visa-free policy. If convenient, you can also choose to travel through Nanjing Lukou International Airport and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport.
It is convenient to travel to them from Shanghai by high-speed train, taking less than 2hours. Make the most of your 144 hours to tour these cities.
Not sure whether your itinerary is eligible for the policy or not? Contact us.
Shanghai is a melting pot of the East and the West, the old and the new. You can walk along the Bund to admire buildings in various European styles and learn about the history of Shanghai.
Visit Lujiazui to admire the skyscrapers and have a bird's-eye view of the city from the Shanghai Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, or the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
If you are interested in “old Shanghai”, you can visit Xintiandi and Tianzifang where you will see many century-old buildings and traditional shikumen buildings.
If traveling with your children, you can spend one or two days in Shanghai Disneyland Park.
You can enjoy a 1-day trip to Suzhou to see its classic gardens and traditional waterside architecture.
We have designed a dozen Shanghai tours to help our customers take advantage of the 144-hour visa-free transit policy. Here are the most popular tours, for your reference: