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, 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
Xiamen, Wuhan, Qingdao, Chengdu, Kunming

- Last modified on Sep. 11, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu
Asked by Nathan from AUSTRALIA | Sep. 14, 2019 18:45Reply
Transit Visa for Cruise
We are flying from Melbourne, Australia, having a night in HKG, and then flying to Shanghai, Pudong. We have two nights (hotel) in Shanghai prior to cruising to Japan. We then end the cruise back in Shanghai, with less than 24 hours between our arrival by ship and our flight departing. Do we qualify for the 144hour visa for the first two nights and then visa waiver for the less than 24 hours to depart? Thanks for your help.
Answers (2)
Answered by Nathan from AUSTRALIA | Sep. 14, 2019 18:47

I also cannot use the online system, as our arriving flight is from Hong Kong...
Answered by ZUPAN | Sep. 15, 2019 12:18

This means that you should give up using this pre-travel application. This application just confuses people and is very often down. To conclude, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau are definitely eligible territories for 144 hour visa free transit, but you are advised to do everything manually, upon your arrival in China like most of the travelers do. Just be relaxed, your itinerary is fine and you will do everything necessary right when you approach 144 hour TWOV counter in Shanghai.

I will just add a couple of conditions, so that you can recheck your itinerary and to be certain that you will be eligible for 144 and 24 hour visa free transit:

- Your flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai has to be nonstop
- Your first port of call, immediately after Shanghai, should not be in mainland China
- Your last port of call, immediately before Shanghai, should not be in mainland China
- Your flight from Shanghai should not have any additional landing within mainland China and in Japan

So, if the above conditions are fulfilled, you are perfectly eligible for 144 and 24 hour visa free transit. Once again, please do yourself a favor, just forget about this frustrating pre-travel application.
Asked by E. Ness from USA | Sep. 13, 2019 14:46Reply
144 hour USA Free
I am wanting to book a flight from the USA to Shanghai and return back to the USA from Shanghai 72 hours later. Do I need to get a visa, or does this qualify for the 144 hour policy?
Answers (1)
Answered by Saul | Sep. 13, 2019 22:20

You need a visa.
Asked by Mirek from CZECH | Sep. 11, 2019 20:03Reply
We want to plan trip and use transit visa , we are from Czech rep and holding biometric passports.
Question : we start at Vienna - shanghai ( apply transit visa ) than continue To Bali but there is a stop over in Shenzhen (china ) could we apply transit visa or need a regular one ,

Than back to Shanghai from Bali Indonesia - Entry on regular 1 entry visa , return Back To Vienna .

Its this is possible?
Answers (1)
Answered by Saul | Sep. 11, 2019 22:48

The time from your scheduled arrival in Shanghai to scheduled departure from Shenzhen must be less than 24 hours. Otherwise you will need a visa. On your return, if there is only one stop in China you will qualify for 24 or 144 hours visa-free transit.
Asked by Roelen from USA | Sep. 11, 2019 19:48Reply
Shanghai 1 hour 55 mins lay over
Is 1 hour and 55 mins is okay if I am transferring from terminal 2 to terminal 1 To Seoul , no check in luggage just carry on?
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Sep. 12, 2019 13:45

Now, I can see that you have to change the terminals... You can do it, but you have to be very agile and even ask for priority. Of course, you will have to run a bit too.
Asked by Mabella from CANADA | Sep. 10, 2019 19:58Reply
Are we eligible for 144 hours stay?
Five of us Canadian citizens will fly from Vancouver to PVG in March 21. Arrives PVG on March 22. We all leave on March 26 10am to Dubai. Then we return from Dubai to Vancouver on April, layover at PVG for 1.5 hours.
We will stay in Airbnb apartment during the PVG stay.
Could you tell me if we need any visa?
Answers (4)
Answered by Juliet | Sep. 10, 2019 20:38

Vancouver-Shanghai-UAE-Shanghai-Vancouver is clearly ok. You qualify for 144 hours transit without visa for the first entry to China, and 24 hours for the second. Note that you must register with the police within 24 hours of arriving in Shanghai.
Answered by Mabella from CANADA | Sep. 11, 2019 09:43

Thank you!!!
Do I have to fill in any forms or application before I leave Canada?
And could you please tell me how do I register with the police? At the airport or I have to find a police station, where are the police station?

Thanks again, appreciate your help.
Answered by ZUPAN | Sep. 15, 2019 12:26

Mabella, you don't have to do anything in advance. The first time you will mention you intention will be at check-in in Vancouver where you will declare that you will travel to Dubai via SH using 144 hour visa free transit. You are supposed to have your flight tickets in hard copy (e-tickets printouts) with you. You will not fill out any form in Vancouver.

Upon your landing in Shanghai, you will approach clearly visible 144 hour TWOV counter were you will fill out a blue form in addition to the yellow form that you will fill out in the plane. After a short inspection, you will get a sticker in your passport and be allowed to leave the airport.

Upon your arrival at your accommodation you will immediately tell the owner that you need to register at the police station that is in China called Public security bureau (PSB). You have to insist that your host arrive with you to PSB because without the knowledge of Chinese language and their relevant rules, you would be lost in PSB by yourself. The largest majority of owners do it without hesitation, so I assume that will be also in your case. If not, you have to insist because you have to register yourself within 24 hours of your arrival.
Answered by Mabella from CANADA | Sep. 15, 2019 19:51

You guys are the best, I have a peace of mind to stay in Shanghai now!!!! So glad for your help!!!! Much much appreciated :-)
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