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If your layover in China is less than 1 day, you can possibly enjoy a 24-hour transit without a visa (24-hour TWOV). It is available to passengers of most nationalities at most ports of entry.
Visas are not required if you transit through mainland China for a stay of less than 24 hours before heading to a third country or region.
If you find you aren’t eligible for visa-free transit, you need to apply for a visa.
Most countries are eligible for the 24-hour TWOV except those listed below: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
A 24-hour TWOV is available in all ports of entry except for the following (current list as of January 2018):
You need to provide the documents listed below to apply for 24-hour visa-free transit:
The 24 hours start counting from your scheduled arrival time and end at your scheduled departure time.
Don’t worry if your inbound flight arrives early or your outbound flight runs late — the scheduled time is what matters.
If you are unable to depart on time due to unavoidable reasons, such as a flight cancellation, you need to apply for a visa from the Municipal Public Security Bureau.
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 Chinese 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.]
Many cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Guilin have had a 72-hour or 144-hour (6-day) visa-free transit policy.
The following popular itineraries can be customized to your length of stay and interests: