144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu

As early as 2016, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang introduced the 144-hour visa-free transit initiatively, which targets citizens from 53 countries and regions and allows them to transit in the three places for a stay length not more than 144 hours, ie., six days.

Who can enjoy the 144-hour visa-free transit in Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang? - List of 53 Qualified 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

Things to Know before Designing Your Visa-free Travel Plan

 No. 1: Transit Route: Country A → B: Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang → Country C
The travel from A to B and from B to C should be non-stop, without a stopover anywhere in Mainland China. Visitors applying for the 144-hour visa-free transit need to hold a ticket to a third country or region. In this context, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are considered as third regions, which is a great help for planning a transiting route. For example, if a visitor coming from the UK wants to use the visa-free transit but actually have no plan to another country after visiting Shanghai, he or she can leave for Hong Kong, and then go back home.

Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu 144-hour visa-free transit area
Areas Allowed to Stay

 No. 2: The actual allowed stay length is calculated from 00:00 after the date of your entry, therefore you can maximize your stay by taking an early flight on the date of entry and a late flight on the date of exit.

 No. 3: Some passengers may try to cancel the ticket to the third country or region after arrival and book a ticket back to the departure country instead, while this is not allowed within the visa-free policy. Don't risk doing this for you may face serious results.

Areas Allowed to Stay

Passengers eligible for the 144-hour visa-free transit can travel within Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang, all of which are in the Yangtze River Delta of China and boast mild climate and rich tourism resources. Top travel destinations include Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Nanjing.

How to Apply for 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu

Prepare the required documents, including a passport valid for at least three months from the date of entry, a valid visa to the third country or region if required, and a ticket to the third country or region. Then follow the steps in the chart.

how to apply for 144-hour visa-free transit
 Good News: Passengers wishing to use 144-hour visa-free transit in Shanghai can log into the online platform (http://crj.police.sh.cn/144zy.jsp) to make the application in advance. The system will pop up notices if you do not qualify for the visa-free transit policy, reducing the risks of being denied on the spot. After arrival, you can use the self-help machine to print the Arrival Card.


What Are the Eligible Transit Ports?

According to the rules, all ports in Shanghai, and Nanjing Lukou Airport and Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport are the eligible ports for the 144-hour visa-free transit scheme.

Eligible Ports Contact Information
Shanghai Pudong Airport 0086-21-96990
Hongqiao Airport 0086-21-96990
Shanghai Railway Station 0086-21-12306
Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal 0086-21-66593501
Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal 0086-21-51105100
Jiangsu Nanjing Lukou Airport 0086-25-968890
Zhejiang Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport 0086-571-96299

Note: Currently, train passengers can only get in / out through Shanghai Railway Station, which operates trains to and from Kowloon, Hong Kong every other day.


What Can I Do During the 144 Hours in Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang?

Taste the flavor of old and modern Shanghai

Shanghai, as an open port city, is where the east and west meet. Spending one or two days in the city, you can visit Shikumen, a unique residence style, to find the traces of old Shanghai in the narrow alleys. In Lujiazui, dense high rises present the thriving and energetic side of Shanghai. Choose one from Shanghai Tower, the World Financial Center, and the Oriental Pearl Tower to overlook the city and you will never regret. If travelling with your kids, set aside one more day for Shanghai Disneyland Park to enrich your trip.

Take a side trip to nearby cities by bullet train

During the 144-hour visa-free period, no matter you are transiting in Nanjing, Hangzhou, or Shanghai, you can include nearby cities in your itinerary by high speed train. Usually, it takes less than two hours to travel between. Different from Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang are more classical and characterized by the water towns. A side trip to water towns like Wuzhen, Xitang near Hangzhou and Tongli, Zhouzhuang near Suzhou can highlight your trip.

Enjoy night activities

Night activities in Shanghai are colorful. You can take a cruise on the Huangpu River to enjoy the night scene along the banks or wander around the Nanjing Road to experience the local life. When travelling in Suzhou, the unique story-telling ballad and Kun Opera performed in classical gardens at night are a feast for your ears.

 Further Reading:
144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei
144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Liaoning
144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Guangdong (to be adopted)
Xiamen, Wuhan, Qingdao, Chengdu, Kunming - to be implemented since Jan. 1, 2019

- Last modified on Mar. 06, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu
Asked by gloria reynaudo from ITALIA | Mar. 18, 2019 08:08Reply
Transit for Italian that come from Vietnam
Hello there may I ask a question? I am Italian and actually I am in Vietnam for studying and I would go to China just for a few days to visit a person that lives in Shanghai. Since my travel starts from Vietnam can I apply for 144/72h free visa transit? My plan it's to book a flight from Hanoi that transits in SH and end up in Bangkok.. Do you know if it's possible? Or since Vietnam is not in that allowed country list is it not possible even if I come from Italy? Thanks in advance
Asked by Emer O' Malley from IRELAND | Mar. 15, 2019 13:29Reply
Hi, We will travel from London to Auckland with a stopover in shanghai
for approx 24 hours each way. Our nationality is Irish. Do we qualify for the free 144 hour visa and also is it possible to explore the city center on this Visa or must we stay in the airport?
Answers (1)
Answered by Hector | Mar. 15, 2019 15:26

If your connection is longer than 24 hours you will qualify for 144 hours transit without visa (not a free visa) and you can leave the airport. If it is less than 24 hours you will qualify for 24 hours transit without visa, and leaving the airport is at the discretion of the immigration officer (but it will help you to have a long/overnight connection and a confirmed hotel booking).
Asked by Ilmari Alenius from FINLAND | Mar. 13, 2019 03:18Reply
No seats and transit in China when returning home from destination C

According to my interpretation we should be eligible for the 144-hour transit, but would you kindly make sure? Our travel route is HK-Shanghai-Seoul AND after 5 days residence in Seoul, we fly back to Hong Kong via SH (2h stopover). Seoul-SH-Hong Kong

Our nationality is Finland (Approved on the list), and we come from Hong Kong, and we will stay less than 144-hours in SH and Jiangsu (Suzhou) area.
However, we have two problems:

1) We have booked flights and have confirmed flights for us with flight numbers, but we do not have assigned seats for those flights. (We only have the booking)

2)Will the return flight from Seoul to Hong Kong with a 2h stopover in SH be problematic or not?

Best Regards,
Answers (1)
Answered by Johann | Mar. 13, 2019 08:32

1. You don't need a seat assignment. You just need a confirmed ticket (ie, standby is not allowed).
2. If it is on one ticket, that shouldn't be a problem at all, nothing to worry about.
Asked by Si Hong Ma from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 11, 2019 23:04Reply
My flight information showing as below, can I use 144-hour visa-free transit in Shanghai?
Please Let me know ASAP, thank you very much!

Flight booking ID 103070
Depart: 22 Mar 2019 22:30
Airline: China Eastern Airlines
Flight No: MU740 Economy(T)
From: Melbourne - Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport(MEL)
To: SH - Pu Dong Airport(PVG)
Depart: 22 Mar 2019 22:30 Terminal: 2
Arrival: 23 Mar 2019 05:55 Terminal: 1
Depart: 29 Mar 2019 11:50
Airline: Virgin Atlantic
Flight No: VS251 Economy(N)
From: SH - Pu Dong Airport(PVG)
To: London - Heathrow Airport(LHR)
Depart: 29 Mar 2019 11:50 Terminal: 2
Arrival: 29 Mar 2019 16:30 Terminal: 3
Answers (1)
Answered by Paul from USA | Mar. 12, 2019 04:21

That is fine. The 144 hours starts the day after arrival so you will be out by 2359 on the 29th
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