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Recently, China announced a new 144-hour visa-free transit policy, which allows you to enjoy a longer stay (6 days) in China without a visa.
The major difference from the 24-hour and 72-hour Transit Without Visa (TWOV) policies, is that you can travel within one of three whole regions.
The nationals of the following countries are eligible for the visa exemption program:
Americans (of 6 countries): the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and the Republic of Chile
European citizens (of 39 countries): Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Belarus, and Monaco
Oceanians (of 2 countries): Australia and New Zealand
Asians (of 6 countries): South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar
Passengers can enter/leave China via any of the ports within one of three areas, and must stay within their Permitted Area of Stay [January 1st, 2018]:
|Area||City||Port of Entry||Permitted Area of Stay|
|1||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|
|Nanjing||Nanjing Lukou International Airport|
|Hangzhou||Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport|
|2||Beijing||Beijing Capital International Airport||Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province|
|Beijing West Railway Station*|
|Tianjin||Tianjin Binhai International Airport|
|Tianjin International Cruise Home Port|
|Shijiazhuang||Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport|
|Qinhuangdao||Qinhuangdao Sea Port|
|3||Dalian||Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport||Liaoning Province|
|Shenyang||Shenyang Taoxian International Airport|
(Guangdong Province is going to carry out this transit policy, but the government has not released an official statement yet.)
* Beijing Railway Station and Beijing West Railway Station are two different railway stations. Beijing Railway Station is not the port for the 144-hour visa-free policy. So, you cannot enjoy this policy if you take the following international trains which are all departing from Beijing Railway Station: K23: Beijing – Ulaanbaatar; K3 and K19: Beijing – Moscow.
The list of entry points may change at any time. Therefore, we always suggest you confirm this information before planning your trip.
If you want to enjoy the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, you need to meet relevant qualifying criteria, as detailed below:
You need to provide the documents listed below to apply for the 144-hour visa-free transit:
1) Inform your carrier of your intent to use 144-hour TWOV, and acquire your onward ticket before travel.
2) Fill in arrival and departure cards (available on flights).
3) At the dedicated counter for 144-hour visa-free transit at your arrival port, provide the immigration officer with your documents.
4) Claim your luggage, go through customs, and exit the airport, as you would with a visa.
5) Leave from a designated port as normal before midnight on the sixth full day, handing in your completed departure card at immigration.
The 144 hours start from 00:00 on the day after entry. For example, if you enter Shanghai at 6am on June 1st; your 144 hours starts from 00:00 on June 2nd, and you can stay until 23:59 on June 7th.
So you can actually have more time than 144 hours if you can find suitable transport.
[Please note that some airports have their own special regulations about how they count these hours: from airplane touchdown, or from midnight, or from when they issue the visa-free travel permit in the airport. So find out in advance about the specific airport regulations. ]
If you are unable to depart on time due to unavoidable reasons, such as a flight cancellation, you must apply for a visa from the Municipal Public Security Bureau. To avoid this don’t cut it too close.
There are three types of transit without a visa (TWOV) programs in mainland China: 24-hour TWOV, 72-hour TWOV, and 144-hour TWOV.
||24-Hour TWOV||72-Hour TWOV||144-Hour TWOV|
|Nationalities Covered||Nearly all nationalities||53 nationalities||53 nationalities|
|Ports of Entry||Most Chinese cities||18 cities||
Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Dalian, Shenyang
|Arrival and Departure||Can be by different ports.||Must be by the same port||Can be by different ports.|
|Means of Transport||Plane, ship, or train||By air||Plane, ship, or train|
|Travel in Mainland China||Limited to the transit area||Limited to a city area||Limited to a region|
[The above information was updated on January 31st, 2018. The situation changes on a daily basis. Please double-check when you plan your tour.]
A 144-hour visa-free tour to China has become a reality. We can customize a tour for you to make the most of your time. Just let us know your interests and requirements.
Here are our most popular Shanghai and Beijing area tours, for inspiration:
Shanghai has adopted a 15-day visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China by cruise.
Read more about this policy.
Guilin now offers 6-day (144-hour) visa-free transit to ten ASEAN countries. Passports holders from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, Brunei, and the Philippines can enjoy the new visa-free transit policy.
Read more about Guilin visa-free policy.
All visitors to Hong Kong and/or Macao are able to visit the surrounding Pearl River Delta visa-free as long as they go with a registered tour group and meet certain conditions. The stays can last 6 days or 144 hours for most countries.
Read more about this policy.