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 May. 20, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu
Asked by Dave W from SWITZERLAND | May. 23, 2019 08:07Reply
Flying Europe to Australia with stopover in Hong kong.
Would like to use part of stopover to visit shanghai for 4 nights. Flight Hk to PVG return, does this qualify for 144hr visa.
Many thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by CDKING from US | May. 23, 2019 10:56

You need to fly directly to a third county to be eligible for the 144 hour transit without visa. If flew non-stop HKG > SH > Macau then to HK by boat then you would be eligible
Asked by Edouard from FRANCE | May. 22, 2019 03:22Reply
We are from France. We landed in Shanghai Pudong Airport the 06/19/2019
And stayed for 2 night at Disneyland. Then we go to South Korea by Hongqiao Airport the 06/21/2019. Are we eligible to the 144-Hour Free Visa ? The fact that we don't use the same airport isn't a problem right ?
Answers (1)
Answered by CDKING from US | May. 22, 2019 04:53

Yes you can arrive at one airport and depart from the other one when doing the 144 hour transit.
Asked by JOG SEE CHA from MALAYSIA | May. 21, 2019 23:07Reply
I am a Malaysian i have more then 15 hours transit time in Shanghai pudong airport.
How can i go out airport for few hours?
Answers (4)
Answered by ZUPAN | May. 22, 2019 01:04

You will have to apply for 24 hours free entry permit upon your landing in Shanghai. In case that your layover is during the night hours, your chances to get a permit are very good, but you should make a hotel booking in advance and bring a confirmation with you in hard copy. In case that your layover is during the daylight, then your chances diminish because Shanghai immigration officials are know as quite strict. In any case, your should apply for the permit and you will see whether you will be allowed to exit or not. I hope, you will.
Answered by JONG SEE CHAN from MALAYSIAN | May. 22, 2019 19:03

You mean i can apply 24 hours free entry permit at Shanghai Airport ? Where can i apply ? T1 or T2 ? Just with a Hotel Booking ?
Answered by ZUPAN | May. 23, 2019 14:10

You will apply at the terminal of your arrival. Hotel booking is very helpful in obtaining of entry permit and even more if your layover is during the night hours. Beside the hotel booking, you should have your tickets, in hard copy in the same way as your hotel booking and your passport. Nothing else.
Answered by Jong See Chan from MALAYSIA | May. 23, 2019 18:59

I don't think i will book hotel because i reach Shanghai early morning 4 pm. My next flight same day 7 pm. i only have 10 hours ( 2 hours before reach airport for next flight ) to go out Shanghai airport. Hope my ticket or boarding pass can apply 24 hours pass. Anyway, thank you so much,Zupan
Asked by Jack R from USA | May. 21, 2019 18:15Reply
From USA to Shanghai via cruise from Toyko. Will spend 4 days in SH.
then fly to USA from SH with a 2 hour layover in Beijing. Will I need a visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | May. 22, 2019 12:02

If I have properly understood, your itinerary will be the following:

US - Shanghai (spend 4 days) - Japan

The above itinerary, if your flight from US to SH does not have a landing in Japan is definitely eligible for 144 hours visa free transit, so here you don't need a visa.

Japan - SH - Beijing - US

The above itinerary is potentially eligible for 24 hours visa free transit if:

- your flight from Beijing to US does not have a landing in Japan
- your entire transit time from your scheduled arrival in SH by cruise until your scheduled departure from Beijing by plane is less than 24 hours

So, please, just make a thorough insight into your travel itinerary to see if you fit within the above mentioned criteria.

One more detail... You should also check whether your cruise has any port call within mainland China immediately after and before your departure/arrival in SH.
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