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 Jan. 19, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu
Asked by Maria Siddivo from ITALY | Jan. 18, 2019 05:56Reply
different airport
I will fly from Italy to Shanghai Pudong (Turkish Airlines, connecting flight at Instanbul) and after three days in Shanghai I will go to Taipei from Hongqiao airport. The return flight is directly from Taipei to Italy. May I benefit of 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai?
Asked by Mo from USA | Jan. 17, 2019 23:29Reply
Multiple Flight Trip Through 3rd Party Site
I booked a multi-city ticket a 3rd party site from Chicago, USA to Shanghai Pu Dong Airport and after 3 days flying to Japan from Shanghai Hongqiao, China Airport. Will I be eligible for the free transit visa? I read on somewhere that I must leave from the same airport. However my entry flight is a different airport then my departure flight.
Answers (1)
Answered by Johann | Jan. 19, 2019 04:13

It's quite okay to arrive at one airport in Shanghai and leave from the other.
Asked by Anthony from UK | Jan. 16, 2019 08:16Reply
I arrive at Shanghai PVG at 09.25 on the morning of June 3rd 2019.
I stay until I catch a cruise from Shanghai on Thursday June 6th departs 16.30 pm to Japan.
I come back to Shanghai arriving on Thursday June 13th at 7.00 am.
I fly back to the UK on June 17th at 11.40 am.
I make that 180.25 hrs in China.
Can I split the first half of my stay in China before my cruise to Japan with a 144 hr visa and my second stay when I return from my cruise with a 144 hr visa. thanks
Answers (3)
Answered by John | Jan. 16, 2019 10:13

The 144 hours resets every time you enter China. And it’s not a visa, it’s free transit without visa.
Answered by ANTHONY from UK | Jan. 16, 2019 22:08

Will I still need to apply to the Chinese Embassy in London for the transit visa?
Answered by Charlie from FRANCE | Jan. 17, 2019 17:14

No, you don't need to.
Asked by Mabel from CANADA | Jan. 14, 2019 20:05Reply
Can I go Toronto - HK - shanghai - cruise to Japan - shanghai - Toronto without getting visa?
We will fly in from Toronto to Hong Kong, stay 2 nights, then fly to Shanghai on June 4th and stay less than 48 hours before boarding a 7-nights cruise to Japan only. Our cruise will disembark in Shanghai and will only stay 8 to 9 hours and fly back home that same afternoon to Toronto. Since both stops in Shanghai will be less than 144 hours, can we make use of either “Shanghai 15-day Visa-free Policy for Cruise Tour Groups”, or the “144-hour Visa-Free policy” without having to apply for a China Tourist Visa? Thanks again for your help!

Answers (3)
Answered by Grayson from POLAND | Jan. 15, 2019 00:51

You can enjoy the 144 hours visa free policy. Don't worry.
Answered by Mabel from CANADA | Jan. 17, 2019 07:24


Does it make a difference if we stay overnight in Shanghai after our cruise ship disembarked at the port before flying back to Toronto please?
Answered by Grayson | Jan. 17, 2019 17:15

No, it won't make any difference. :)
Asked by John from AUSTRALIA | Jan. 14, 2019 03:12Reply
Hi if i arrive Shanghai the 19/04 between 00:01 and 12.00 noon when do the 144 hours start?
Answers (1)
Answered by Luke from GERMANY | Jan. 15, 2019 00:51

It starts 00:00 the day following your entry date.
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