144-hour Visa-free Transit in Wuhan

The 144-hour visa-free transit has came into force officially in Wuhan, Central China. Following the Liaoning 144-hour visa-free transit that took effect in 2018, the 144-hour transit without visa (TWOV) in Wuhan enables air passengers from 53 eligible countries to take a free transit in the city for 6 days without applying for Chinese visa before departure. 

Who Can Enjoy the Wuhan 144-hour TWOV? - List of 53 Qualifying Countries

 24 Schengen Agreement Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

 15 Other European Countries: Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, Monaco

 6 American Countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile

 2 Oceania Countries: Australia, New Zealand

 6 Asian Countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar

Areas Allowed to Stay

The whole city of Wuhan is the allowable area to stay for foreign tourists entitled for this 144-hour TWOV. That is to say, the flight passengers who intend to transit in Wuhan for 6 days without visa are only able to sight-see Wuhan after leaving the airport. 

What Is the Eligible Transit Port?

Wuhan’s free transit can only be issued in its airport - Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. Those travelers who enter Wuhan by trains or cruises cannot avail of the 144 hours TWOV after their arrival.

Eligible Port Contact Information
Wuhan Tianhe International Airport 86-027-96577

What Is the Qualified Travel Route for Using the Wuhan 144-hour Free Transit?

A: departure country ⇒ B: Wuhan ⇒ C: the third country or region

If wishing to take advantage of the Wuhan 144-hour TWOV, make the travel itinerary to be country A – Wuhan - country C. Country A and country C can be any foreign countries or regions instead of mainland China, but A should be different from C.

How to Apply for 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit Scheme in Wuhan

Before boarding the flight, please inform the airline that you are in transit without visa in Wuhan, and then show the tickets and passports to apply at the immigration counter upon arrival.
144-hour visa-free transit

What Can I Do During the 144 Hours in Wuhan?

The six days would be enough for the qualified tourists to have a deep exploration to the must-see attractions in Wuhan. Managing some business issues and taking part in academic conferences are permissible as well during the 144 hours transit in Wuhan. 

Explore the Must-visit Sites in Wuhan

Magnificently situated at the bank of Yangtze River, the well-known Yellow Crane Tower is the landmark of Wuhan. It attracts a large amount of tourists from abroad for its exquisite appearance and profound historical background, and you don’t want to miss it if you are having 6 days spare time in the city. Paying a visit to the famous Yangtze River Bridge, which gigantically stretches across the Yangtze, would also be included in the list of must-do things in Wuhan. If time permits, go to Hubei Provincial Museum to experience Chinese Culture by viewing those precious cultural relics in ancient China.

Taste the Local Snacks in Hu Bu Xiang

Wuhan is a city famous for housing many kinds of delicious snacks, such as Re Gan Mian (Hot-dry Noodles), Si Ji Mei Dumplings (Season's Dumplings) and Steamed Wuchang Fish. You can visit the 150 meters (490 feet) long street - Hu Bu Xiang to have a taste of the famous local cuisine.  144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang
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- Last modified on Nov. 06, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Wuhan
Asked by David from UK | Dec. 04, 2019 17:09Reply
I am planning to travel through Wuhan. We will originally fly from Ukraine to Istanbul and have one day there in Istanbul. We will then fly from IST to WUH and then on to BKK. I have a UK visa and my wife has a Ukraine visa.

20 December 2019 IST to WUH 23:20 departure 13:20+1 arrival (9 hour flight)
Layover 9 hours 20 minutes
21 December 2019 WUH to BKK 22:40 departure 01:10 arrival (3:30 hour flight)

Total travel time 21 hours 50 minutes.

As I understand we can travel visa free with the 144 hour TWOV as we only have 1 stop in China. Is this correct?
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Dec. 07, 2019 04:51

David, both your wife and you are eligible for 24 hour visa free transit and you don't need any kind of visa. The reason why 24 and not 144 hour visa free transit is in the fact that your entire transit time in China will be less than 24 hours! Anyway, this is also just fine in your case. By the way, I assume that you though to write that your wife has Ukraine and you UK passports and not visas :)

You will print out your flight tickets and have those printouts with you. Also, you will declare at check-in in Istanbul that you will travel to Bangkok via Wuhan using 24 hour visa free transit. After a short inspection of your tickets, you will be allowed to board the plane. Also, keep in mind to ask at the check-in whether your luggage will be tagged all the way to Bangkok. I assume that this will be the case because you are traveling on a single (through) ticket by China Southern, but you should ask, just for a case.

Upon your landing in Wuhan, you will apply for a temporary entry permit at 24 hour visa free transit counter to be allowed to exit the airport if you want, of course. If not, you will just wait for your connecting flight at the airport. If you decide to make a short stroll in the city, your best transport option is very affordable metro (Line 2).
Asked by James Thornton from UNITED KINGDOM | Nov. 26, 2019 02:01Reply

I have been living in Qingdao for 5 weeks so far on a 60-day X2 visa. In December I fly to London on a single booking with China Southern via Wuhan where my layover is 14 hours. Naturally I would like to leave the airport to see the city

Overland entry to mainland China: 16/10 ~2pm
Flight to Wuhan: departs at 15/12 22:25
Flight to London: departs at 16/12 14:35

I asked for a 90 day visa because of this but was issued 60 days which should expire on the day I leave Qingdao depending on how it's counted. I have tried to find out the cost of a flight change and get some kind of 'ammendment' from the Visa centre - but no luck.

I need to cover this gap in my visa somehow. Any advice would be great
Do you think obtaining a TWOV will be possible even though my inbound flight is from China?
What is the official process for counting days of validity?
Is there a way of predicting the likelyhood of a fine?

Many thanks
Answers (4)
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 26, 2019 13:18

Part one:

James, unfortunately, exactly on 00:01 (0:01am) of December 16, you will enter in overstay. So, after you land in Wuhan, you will breach the law. I understand that you have tried to understand your departure from Beijing as final departure from the country, but in reality, your flight from Qingdao to Wuhan is just a domestic flight and the final stamp of the immigration will be given to you in Wuhan.

Unfortunately, if you don't want to breach the law, you will have to invest a bit and book a round trip ticket to one of the cheapest possible destinations in South Korea or Japan. Why?

Like this, you will depart from Qingdao to Seoul (or some other city) on December 14. By doing this, you will perfectly remain within the legal frames of your visa. You will make an overnight there and return by a chosen flight back to Qingdao, but be very careful to chose that this flight arrives after 14:35!!!

As you can see, your visa will be consumed upon your entry from China and after that, you will return tomorrow (December 15) traveling on 24 hour visa free transit! You will print out your flight tickets and you will declare in Seoul (or some other city) that you will travel to London via China using 24 hour visa free transit. After a short inspection of your tickets you will be allowed to board the plane for Qingdao.
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 26, 2019 13:18

Part two:

Upon arrival in Qingdao, you will approach 24 hour visa free transit counter where you will apply for a temporary entry permit to be allowed to collect your luggage and perform a recheck for your flight to Wuhan. You will be granted this permit and you will be also perfectly within the legal frames because you will not go in overstay because your visa has expired at the moment of your exit from China and even if this is not true, if we are talking about a multiple entry visa, you will declare that you are in transit because you will be in transit literally. In this case, your stay (transit) in China is not based on your visa that will expire at midnight, but on 24 hour visa free transit!

When you arrive in Wuhan, they will know that you are not traveling on your expired visa, but on 24 hour visa free transit because your journey has started in Seoul (or some other city). In the end, you will leave China perfectly legally and without any detail that could make you a problem with your possible future visa applications.

I understand that this is not the cheapest way to bypass the problem of unavoidbale overstay, but as I can see, you simply have no another choice. Of course, you can enter in overstay and pay the fine. Anyway, this will cause you a huge problem if you intend to apply for any kind of visa for a travel or a stay in China.

Again, your flight from Seoul (or some other city) has to arrive in Qingdao after 14:35!!!

OK, the solution is here and decision has to be all yours.
Answered by James from UNITED KINGDOM | Nov. 28, 2019 02:09

Thankyou for this clever solution ZUPAN, it hadn't occurred to me. My visa is single entry. I assume the following won't be an issue but if you have any further advice please pass it on:
1. My flight to Korea won't match the original outgoing flight which I noted when applying for my visa
2. I understand that I must arrive after 14:35 on the 15th because then I will be in China on the transit visa for less than 24 hours. This is fine for me but others in the thread might like to know your reasoning for not applying for a longer visa free permit e.g. 72 hours?
3. Is it a problem that I will be transiting multiple cities (Qingdao & Wuhan) in China while on this temporary visa?
4. If facilities are available at TAO I may look into simply leaving some of my luggage there rather than taking it to Seoul and back

Many thanks
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 28, 2019 09:50

Thank you for your kind words :)

1. This is not an issue at all. You have absolute right to change your mind and to reschedule your exit plan as you wish. The only important detail is that everything is done within the legal frame, i.e. that your exit is still during the validity of your visa.

2. Actually, when you have two consecutive Chinese stops as you will in Qingdao and Wuhan, then you are limited to 24 hour visa free transit. In this case, you cannot rely on 72/144 hour visa free transit. If your flight from Qingdao departs directly to some foreign country, then you would be eligible for 144 hour visa free transit. In your case, you have an itinerary with two Chinese cities in different transit zones and you are limited to 24 hours.

3. 24 hours visa free transit (not temporary visa) is created to allow a transit for those having more than one Chinese stop in a row. Anyway, to disable or at least to limit possible abuses of the transit through more Chinese cities in a row, Chinese have instituted the limit of 24 hours.

4. You will have to obtain a temporary entry permit upon arrival in Qingdao because the next sections of your itinerary (Qingdao - Wuhan) is considered as a domestic flight. So, upon arrival from South Korea to Qingdao, you will approach 24 hour visa free transit counter where you will apply for a temporary entry permit. After this permit is granted, you will be allowed to exit the airport. Also, you will be allowed to collect your luggage that you have left it in Qingdao. This is, by the way, very good idea. This is your invention :)

Basically, this is it and if any other question arises, here we are.
Asked by Andrey from BULGARIA | Nov. 21, 2019 00:36Reply
Istanbul --> Wuhan ---> Guangzhou ---> Ho Chi Minh
I'm a Bulgarian citizen so I'm eligible for the 144-hour visa free transit. There are two flight options. The first one has a 22 hour stay in the city and a 19h wait in Guangzhou before continuing to Ho Chi Minh. The flight is purchased altogether with China Southern. Would I be allowed to travel visa free with it? Can I leave the airports to explore the city or I must stay at the airport/transit area at all time?

The second option is a flight from Istanbul to WH with only a 2h layover, flying to Guangzhou from there and after a 3 hour layover, flying out of China to Vietnam. It shouldn't be a problem in general as the total time spent in China would be less than 7 hours including the flight between WH and Guangzhou. What concerns me a little bit is that you've written: "A: departure country ⇒ B: WH ⇒ C: the third country or region". Do I need to flight from WH directly out of China or can I have a second layover? With both of the potential itineraries, I'm buying a single ticket from Istanbul to Vietnam. Please explain! Thank you for your help!
Answers (2)
Answered by Debby from GERMANY | Nov. 22, 2019 00:07

No, according to the route, you are not eligible for the 144 hours visa free policy. You can just have one stop in mainland China.
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 22, 2019 15:38

Andrey, your first itinerary is obviously not eligible for any kind of visa free transit option and if you want to use this option, you will need to obtain a Chinese transit (G) visa obtained in advance.

Anyway, your second itinerary is definitely eligible for 24 hour visa free transit and you don't need any kind of visa.

When you travel on 24 hour visa free transit you are allowed to have two or more consecutive stops within mainland China and you are confused by an explanation of 144 hour visa free transit that really allows only one stop.

The only detail that could be a bit problematic is your short layover in Wuhan, so you should definitely travel on a single ticket and you have to inform yourself whether your luggage will be tagged all the way to Vietnam.
Asked by Annie from MALAYSIA | Nov. 18, 2019 05:01Reply
Do malaysian have to apply visa when transit at Wuhan Airport for 18 hrs?
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 18, 2019 14:02

Yes, unfortunately they do because recent practice by Chinese immigration authorities strongly indicates that Malaysian citizens are not eligible for 24 hour visa free transit at the time being. You will have to apply for a Chinese transit (G) visa in advance.
Asked by Rasa from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 01, 2019 12:37Reply
I'm a bit confused on whether I need to get a visa. I am flying from Istanbul and entering into China at Wuhan Airport (WUH) at 13:20 on the 2nd of January for a 2 hour layover before flying to Guangzhou (CAN), where I stay for 2 nights, finally departing for Sydney on the 4th of January at 9pm. China Southern told me I needed a visa but looking at the Chinese visa website, it says I can apply for a 72 hour transit visa exemption if my port of entry is Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. Is this correct? Thank you in advance.
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 01, 2019 16:12

Unfortunately, if your entire transit time is longer than 24 hours and you have more than one stop within China, you need a visa obtained in advance because you are not eligible for any kind of visa free transit option. You have enough time to obtain a visa and if you are Australian citizens, your best option would be a Chinese transit (G) visa.
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