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. Visitors had better also prepare hotel bookings in case of immigration check. 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 (https://gaj.sh.gov.cn/crj/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, Nanjing Lukou Airport, Ningbo Lishe 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
Ningbo Lishe Airport 0086-574-81899000

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.

Read More:
Layover in Shanghai: All about Stopover Ideas
How to Spend 3 to 12-Hour Layover in Shanghai
What to Do on an Overnight Layover in Shanghai: 12 to 24 Hours
Long Layover in Shanghai: How to plan 1 to 6 days in Shanghai

 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
Xiamen, Wuhan, Qingdao, Chengdu, Kunming, Xi'anChongqing

- Last updated on Nov. 26, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu
Asked by Meradi from USA | Jan. 11, 2023 11:56Reply
Is Hangzhou open again for the 144-hour visa free transit as of Jan 8 2023?
Answers (1)
Answered by Hank | Jan. 11, 2023 17:08

Yes, welcome!
Asked by Sen from BELGIUM | Mar. 29, 2020 10:37Reply
Create your own transit?

Is it possible to obtain visa if you create your own transit in China? Lets say, I book a return flight from the Schengen Area to Shanghai, to make it easy Jan 1st - Jan 31st. I would like to stay the first two days (Jan 1st & Jan 2nd) and the last two days (Jan 30th and Jan 31st) in Shanghai, I will be in another Asian country in the meantime and return to Shanghai by the end of Jan as my return flight is from Shanghai. Is it possible to get the visa?

Thank you
Answers (2)
Answered by Sen from BELGIUM | Mar. 29, 2020 10:38

Possible to get it twice*
Answered by Leona from FINLAND | Apr. 02, 2020 20:58

Yes, you can as long as the departure and destination country are different. :)
Asked by Marion from USA | Feb. 22, 2020 04:17Reply
How often can I use a transit visa
If i have been through Shanghai on a 144 hour transit visa how soon could I use another?
Answers (1)
Answered by Maria from DENMARK | Feb. 23, 2020 16:45

Oh, as I know, it doesn't have time limit. Don't worry.
Asked by Malcolm Elliott from UNITED KINGDOM | Feb. 08, 2020 07:25Reply
Two day Cruise ship visit to Shanghai in April
Arriving from Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong on Cruise Ship visiting Shanghai for two days on 4 and 5 April then depart on ship for Busan(South Korea)

Are visas required for visit
Answers (1)
Answered by Kelly from POLAND | Feb. 09, 2020 17:50

Don't worry. You are eligible for the 144 hours visa free policy.
Asked by David Chinn from USA | Jan. 28, 2020 19:23Reply
I am arriving in Shanghai 13 Jun from the United States
and then embarking on a cruise 14-21 Jun and disembarking on 21 Jun.
I then plan to stay in Shanghai until 25 Jun departing to United States.
Do I qualify for the 144 hr free visa?

Thank you.
Answers (3)
Answered by Bernice from CANADA | Jan. 31, 2020 18:56

No, I am afraid not. You need to apply for the China visa in advance in your country.
Answered by CDKing from USA | Feb. 01, 2020 04:32

It depends on the total itinerary. If the airport prior to Shanghai is not the same country as the next cruise port then it qualifies. The same for the return. If the airport after Shanghai is different country than the cruise port prior to returning to Shanghai it qualifies.

For example if you fly Japan Airlines to Shanghai the next cruise port must not be in Japan
Answered by CDKing from USA | Feb. 01, 2020 04:33

I should note the cruise must not make another stop in mainland China other than Shanghai
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