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.
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
Eligible Transit Route
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.
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.
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 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
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
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:
- 1-Day Shanghai Layover Tour: This 1-day trip is specially designed for people who are tight on time, such as for business and layover trips.
- 2-Day Charming Shanghai and Water Town Tour - including a relaxing walk along the Bund and an enjoyable cruise in Zhujiajiao Water Town
- 5-Day Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou Tour - perfectly blending culture and nature in Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou