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 Jul. 03, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu
Asked by Neil from AUSTRALIA | Jul. 15, 2019 18:09Reply
Itinerary evidence

Thank you for your previous help. One further question. I assume the ticket for Country C does not have to be part of the itinerary for A=> B? As In I have a ticket to Shanghai and my next ticket is with a different airline, booked seperately. I would imagine the main point is to have the ticket for Country C prior to arrival in Shanghai so I can provide evidence of my departure.
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jul. 17, 2019 11:15

Exactly. Separate tickets are definitely fine. It is important that your itinerary has A to B to C shape, but your tickets can be on different airlines. Also, you have properly understood that you need a ticket for a country C in your hand at the check-in in the country A although it is on different airline. In reality, your eligibility for visa free transit is determined in the country A.
Asked by James Hagin from USA | Jul. 15, 2019 14:58Reply
Can I use the Shanghai 144 hour visa free for trip described below?
24 oct in air, 25 oct arrive longermont SH transfer to hotel oct 26 transfer to ship oct 27 spend day in SH oct 29 sail to Japan Bizet Japan Taiwan Philippines debarred honking on oct09 nov fly out of Hong Kong back to Home In Los Angeles Holland America is the Cruse line
Answers (1)
Answered by Kitty from USA | Jul. 15, 2019 20:06

Yes, you can.
Asked by Rebecca Button from AUSTRALIA | Jul. 14, 2019 22:55Reply
Travelling Melbourne, transit Hong Kong to Shanghai before boarding a Princess Cruise 3 days later.
As far as I can tell we are eligible for the 144 hours Visa free policy, however can you please confirm?
Many Thanks,
Answers (3)
Answered by CDKING from US | Jul. 15, 2019 10:06

As long as the boat doesn't go back direct to Hong Kong nor another Chinese city then you can do the transit without visa in Shanghai.
Answered by Rebecca from AUSTRALIA | Jul. 16, 2019 19:07

It does go back to Hong Kong but visits South Korea first ....
Answered by CDKING from US | Jul. 17, 2019 20:07

Hong Kong > Shanghai > Korea > Hong Kong is just fine for transit without visa
Asked by Ana from SPAIN | Jul. 12, 2019 12:59Reply
Is possible to apply for the 144h. visa-free transit two times in three weeks?
We are Spanish and our itinerary is: Madrid - Shanghai (3 hours) - Taipei, but with two different air companies. So we should claim our luggage once we arrive in SH. The first question is: should we apply for a 144h. visa-free transit to get the luggage and take the other flight?
On the other hand, on our way back our itinerary will be: Taipei - SH (5 days) - Madrid, but at this time we would like to stay 5 days in SH (applying for a 144h. visa-free transit). The second question is: are we allowed to apply again for the 144h. visa-free transit in case we do so the first time? In between the two trips are three weeks.
Thank you very much for your help and congratulations for creating such a great website!!
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jul. 12, 2019 14:57

Yes, you are eligible:

Madrid - SH (3 hours) - Taipei

For 24 hour visa free transit because your entire time of transit is less than 24 hours.

Taipei - SH (5 days) - Madrid

For 144 hour visa free transit.

All you have mentioned is just fine and you are perfectly allowed to do all you have planned. Of course, I just hope that you don't have any additional non reported landings within your itinerary.

One more detail, having in mind that you will be flying through the city during your first journey on two different tickets and having 3 hours between your flights, I advise you to be very fast and to literally run through the formalities because Pudong is quite time consuming airport.
Asked by Meg from CANADA | Jul. 12, 2019 12:04Reply
Official Chinese Embassy or Chinese government website about the 144-hour VISA exemption
Would you kindly direct me to an official webpage of the Chinese Embassy or Chinese Government website about this 144-hour VISA exemption? Have a hard time locating it. Only seeing the 72-hour exemption notice on the Chinese Embassy in Canada website and nothing about 144 hours (I am Canadian).
Answers (2)
Answered by CDKING from US | Jul. 12, 2019 15:00

Embassy and government website aren't very good for getting information about visa waiver as they are more involved with processing visas while visa waivers are handled at the airport. Travel China Guide website has fairly up to date info. The official source to reference for transit without visa is TIMATIC and is also what will be referenced by airline staff. If you use any search engine and look for TIMATIC United Airlines that will help, its united airlines site but has free access to the query the full database of worldwide visa and visa free requirements.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jul. 12, 2019 15:00

Meg, in reality, embassies and consulates don't have much to do with visa free transit through China. This is the responsibility of Chinese immigration. In order to be informed from the reliable and authoritative source, I recommend you to use Timatic. This same tool is used by airport staff when inspecting whether someone needs or not a visa or is he/she eligible for 144 hour visa free transit or not.
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