144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu

 China has resumed 144-hour visa-free transit policy since March 15, 2023. Passengers can take advantage of it to travel in designated cities or regions while transferring in China.

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 May. 23, 2023 by Catherine He -
Questions & Answers on 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu
Asked by Nj from USA | Jun. 04, 2023 05:12Reply
144 hour visa free transit
Is there a form or application that is needed to be filled out before I get to the airport? Do I mention the 144hour visa free transit when I check my bag in at the airport or at the gate before I depart? Also, when I land in China is there a special area for 144hour transit visa free entry or just stand with everyone else?
Answers (1)
Answered by James | Jun. 04, 2023 07:13

You tell the airline when they check your documents at the airport when you check in for your flight to China. There isn't a form. Just say that you are in "Transit Without Visa" because that is the phrase in the airline system. You will need to show your onward flight ticket from China. You might need to do the same at the gate too. When you land, some airports have a special lane and some don't, but it is always obvious where to go.
Asked by Julie from NETHERLANDS | May. 28, 2023 10:15Reply
144 twice
Can I use the 144 visa free transit twice?
I plan to fly from Amsterdam to Shanghai, apply 144 and visit Chekiang. Then fly to Hong kong. And then after a short stay in HK return to Shanghai for a short visit before flying back to Amsterdan. Can I apply for another 144 visa free transit in Shanghai?
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | May. 29, 2023 06:39

There is no limit on how many times you can use 144 hour visa free transit. There is no weekly, monthly or yearly limit, so you are perfectly good to go.
Asked by Claire from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 23, 2023 14:11Reply
Maximum number of visa free transits

Is there a maximum number of visa free transits a person can make during one year?

For example, if I planned a trip in July and another in October of the same year, would this be permitted?

Answers (2)
Answered by Borut | May. 23, 2023 16:24

There is no limit. You are more than welcome to proceed with your travel plans.
Answered by Claire | May. 23, 2023 23:07

Thanks for your help!
Asked by Matt from SLOVAKIA | May. 17, 2023 12:50Reply

is Taiwan-Shangai (25hour stopover)-Beijing(just connection)-Vienna eligible?

Answers (1)
Answered by Andrew | May. 17, 2023 23:13

I'm afraid your itinerary is not eligible for this. The problem is not Taiwan but you stop in two mainland cities: SH and BJ. The 144- hour visa-free policy can only be used when you transit either of the two cities. Change your flight or you need to apply for a China visa in advance.
Asked by Gianfranco from ITALY | May. 09, 2023 09:12Reply
I am Italian and would like to do this route: Taipei - Shanghai - Seoul (or HK)
Is this ok route or shall i depart from Italy as I am Italian?
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | May. 09, 2023 11:50

Your proposed itinerary in two versions, being it Seoul or Hong Kong is definitely eligible for 144 hour visa free transit in wider Shanghai area.

This is all that matter. Chinese authorities do not care if you fly from nearby South Korea or from far away Italy. It is important that the immediate points before and after your mainland Chinese destination are in two different countries/eligible geographical entities and in your itinerary this is the case.

Have a nice trip.
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