Top 10 China tours 2024/2025 for first visits and returns: embark on a lifetime experience. Learn more

Shanghai 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit

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).

Qualifying Countries

The nationals of 53 countries are eligible for the visa exemption program, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Quick Test: Will My Route Qualify for China 72/144-Hour Visa-Free Transit?

1. I will depart from (only applies to direct or connected flight):

2. I will arrive in China at [city], [airport / railway station / port].

3. My arrival date is...

4. I will leave for [country/region] from China (the bounding destination on the air ticket):

5. My departure date is...

6. My nationality is...

Eligible Transit Ports

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:

Shanghai: Pudong Airport, Hongqiao Airport, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, Wusong Passenger Transport Center and Shanghai Railway Station.

Zhejiang: Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport

Jiangsu: Nanjing Lukou International Airport

Travel to Suzhou and Hangzhou from  Shanghai

Eligible Transit Route

Visit China with Your Passport.Visit Shanghai with your passport and air tickets, but NO visa!

This policy requires that passengers must be in transit to a third country or region.

Passengers must have no stopovers of any kind within Chinese mainland 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 Chinese mainland 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.

If you are not eligible to use the policy, you can consider applying for a port visa in Shanghai. Contact us to check whether you can apply for a port visa or not.

How to Apply

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. 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.

Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou Bullet Train Tour 5-day view more

3 Things You Should Know Before Planning Your Visa-Free Travel

1. How long is it possible to stay visa-free.

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.

2. The transit port is not just limited to the airport in Shanghai.

CruiseIt is possible to enjoy the visa-free policy even you take a cruise to Shanghai.

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.

3. Extend your trip to Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Nanjing.

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.

How to Spend Your 144 Hours (6 Days) in Shanghai

The Night View of the BundA night view of the Bund

The Highlights of Shanghai

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.

Take a Side Trip to Hangzhou and Suzhou

West Lake in HangzhouWest Lake in Hangzhou

Hangzhou and Suzhou are easily accessible by high-speed train. You can spend two days in Hangzhou to visit its beautiful West Lake and tranquil water towns, such as Wuzhen and Nanxun.

You can enjoy a 1-day trip to Suzhou to see its classic gardens and traditional waterside architecture.

Do Some Night Activities to Enrich Your Trip

  • Select one theater, such as Shanghai Circus World, and enjoy an acrobatic show.
  • Take a cruise along the Huangpu River to see Shanghai's skyline. Learn more about the night cruise.
  • Shop along Nanjing Road, which is the busiest shopping street in Shanghai.

We Can Help to Maximize Your Stay in Shanghai

Travel Shanghai with China HighlightsTravel Shanghai with China Highlights

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:

See more Shanghai tours. Our tours are customizable - tell us your interests and requirements, and we will help you to tailor-make a Shanghai tour.

Further Reading

Start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create Your Trip

Sign up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to receive exciting updates, exclusive promotions, and valuable travel tips from our team of experts.

Click to Sign up

Why China Highlights

Customize Your Tour

Customize Your Tour

  • Travel Advisors Rooted in China
  • Instant Response, No More Waits!
  • Direct Connections, Supreme Values
Maximize Your Flexibility

Maximize Your Flexibility

  • Your own personal guide and ride.
  • Explore at your own pace.
  • Unparalleled flexibility, impossible on a group tour.
Ensure Your Satisfaction

Ensure Your Satisfaction

  • The Top 20% nationwide guides at your service.
  • 20% more space on your group's transportation.
  • 24/7 emergency support.
Live Your China Story

Live Your China Story

  • Authentic local culture and lifestyles.
  • Understand the culture by living it.
  • Uncover fascinating histories and witness New China.
China Highlights logo
Trip Advisor rating Rated 5 out of 5 | 98.8% Excellence
China Highlights International
Travel Service Co., LTD
Featured on
China Highlights was featured on these medias.

Address: Building 6, Chuangyi Business Park, 70 Qilidian Road, Guilin, Guangxi, 541004, China