Do I Need a Visa to Visit China? (How to Visit Without a Visa)
We know that citizens of the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia can travel to many countries without a visa. However, a visa is necessary if traveling to China unless you meet the requirements of the visa-free policies.
You might be confused as there are several visa exemption policies and may be unsure as to whether you can use one or not.
In this article, you will find out which visa-free policy you can consider using and how to apply for it.
72- and 144-Hour Transit Visas
China's visa-free transit policies allow you to enter China from 24–144 hours. Check whether the city you're stopping in is included in a visa-free transit policy or not.
You can stay for up to 24 hours in most cities. Just ask for a temporary stay permit at the immigration counter.
A 72-hour transit is visa-free via Chongqing, Guilin, Xi'an, Changsha, and Harbin.
A 144-hour transit is visa-free via Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, among other cities.
You need to prepare your passport, a ticket to a third country or region, and a visa to the third country or region if required.
Plan an Eligible Transit Route
Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are considered to be third countries/regions for transit purposes, which is a great help when planning a transit route.
You can include them in your itinerary to enjoy a visa-free China trip. Your route can go like this:
US – Beijing–Hong Kong –Shanghai/Hangzhou–US
If you have been to Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan, Japan is a great choice because citizens from the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia aren't required to have visas to enter Japan.
Book a Layover Tour with a Local Expert
Taking a guided tour is the best way to make the most of your layover in a city.
We have many options for private tours that are designed specifically for layovers. We know the best attractions to see depending on the length of your layover and know you need to be back at the airport by a certain time.
We are happy to help you tailor-make a visa-free trip. Here are our most popular layover tours, for inspiration:
- 1-Day Beijing Great Wall Layover Tour (10-Hour Layover): Make the most of your time to visit the Great Wall.
- 1-Day Beijing Layover Tour (15-Hour Layover): Specially designed to be flexible, you will explore the Great Wall, Tian’anmen Square, and the Forbidden City.
- 2-Day Shanghai and Zhujiajiao Water Town Tour: Visit the Bund, Yu Garden, the Shanghai Tower, and Zhujiajiao Water Town.