Do I Need A Visa for Guangzhou If Traveling from Hong Kong?

Generally speaking, most people are supposed to apply for a visit visa in advance if traveling to Guangzhou from Hong Kong. According to various visiting purposes, including sightseeing, business conducting and friends meeting, the corresponding visas of tourist L or business M type are required for Guangzhou trip.

Don’t know if you need a visa for Guangzhou from Hong Kong? Please check whether you are qualified for any of the following 7 visa exemption cases:

1. Aliens from most countries enjoy 24-hour visa-free transit from Hong Kong to Guangzhou.

No visa will be needed if you are qualified for 24-hour visa-free transit in Guangzhou. Passengers going to a third country or region after transiting in Guangzhou within 24 hours qualify for the free transit policy. For example, if you travel from Hong Kong and intend to go to another country or region instead of HK, and your layover time in Guangzhou is under 24 hours, you can enjoy the 24-hour transit without visa (TWOV). In this case, you don’t need to apply for visa.

 Note: The 24-hour visa-free transit is only eligible in Guangzhou Baiyun Airport. That is to say, passengers taking a ferry or train can not transit in Guangzhou without a visa.

2. Travelers from 53 countries enjoy 144-hour visa-free transit.

Travelers from 53 countries such as USA, UK and France are able to apply for the 144-hour TWOV if they transit in Guangzhou for less than 144 hours. The 144 hours TWOV enables people to leave the transit area and enter the city for sightseeing. Please note that only flying from Hong Kong to Guangzhou is eligible for the 144-hour visa-free transit, and this is not qualified for the passengers who take a high speed train or ferry to transit in Guangzhou.

 Note: Hong Kong – Guangzhou – Hong Kong is not a qualified transit, so if you come from HK and leave Guangzhou for HK, you should apply for a visa before your departure. 

3. 6-Day visa-free for group tourists from Hong Kong to Guangzhou

If your country has established diplomatic relations with China, and you enter Guangzhou escorted by a Hong Kong tourist group, you are entitled to 6 days visa exemption. The cities of Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Zhaoqing, and Huizhou can be visited, too.

4. Japanese, Singaporean, Bruneian and Qatari staying in Guangzhou for no more than 15 or 30 days 

If traveling with Japanese, Singaporean or Bruneian passport, and the total layover time is under 15 days, you don’t need to apply for visa for Guangzhou. The reason is that all the citizens of the three countries are qualified to enjoy 15-day visa-free entry to mainland China. Qatar citizens are exempted from visa for 30 day. Thus, there is no need for Qataris to apply for visa for traveling Guangzhou within one month.

 Note: Up to now, the visa-free policy for Japanese, Singaporean, Bruneian and Qatari citizens have not been resumed yet and visitors from these countries need to apply for China visa in advance. 

5. APEC Business Travel Card holders 

If you travel with a valid APEC Business Travel Card, the visit visa is not required when you pass through the immigration authority between Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Considered as a three-year visa with multiple entries, the APEC card will allow you to enter China for many times within its validity, and each duration is no more than 2 months.

6. Traveling to Guangzhou with Chinese residence permit

Chinese visa is not required for travelers entering Guangzhou with valid Chinese residence permit (including permanent residence permit, aka Chinese green card). The Chinese exit and entry administration of the local public security bureau will issue the residence permit to those entering China holding X1 visa, Z visa, Q1 visa, J1 visa, S1 visa and D visa after their entry. With this permit, they can exit and enter mainland China for multiple times without applying visa. 

7. Diplomatic, service or official passport holders

According to mutual visa-exemption agreements, the diplomatic, service or official passport holders from some foreign countries enjoy visa exemption after their entry to Guangzhou from Hong Kong.

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- Last updated on Sep. 07, 2023 by Kate Liu -
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