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72-Hour Visa-Free Transit FAQ

Passport holders of following the 53 countries can enjoy 72-hours visa-free Transit via Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, and airports of cities including Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenyang, Dalian, Harbin, Xi'an, Guilin, Kunming, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Tianjin, Qingdao, Nanjing, Changsha, and Xiamen:

 Schengen 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

 Other European Countries: Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Croatia, Ireland, Macedonia, Monaco, Republic of Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, UK, Ukraine

 America: US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile

 Oceania: Australia, New Zealand

 Asia: Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, UAE, Qatar

Passengers holding passports of the above countries, if transiting in Guangdong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Xi'an, Chongqing, Liaoning, Chengdu, Wuhan, Xiamen, Qingdao or Kunming can enjoy a free stay of 144 hours. 

Passengers transiting in Guangdong can enter from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, Shenzhen Bao'an Airport, or Jieyang Chaoshan Airport, and leave from any port in Guangdong.

Passengers transiting in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang can enter and exit from Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport, Nanjing Lukou AirportNingbo Lishe Airport or any port in Shanghai.

Those who transit in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei can enter and exit from Capital International Airport, Beijing West Railway Station, Binhai International Airport, Tianjin International Cruise Home Port, Zhengding International Airport or Qinhuangdao Beidaihe International Airport.

Those who transit in Liaoning can enter and exit from Shenyang Taoxian International Airport or Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport.

Those who transit in Chengdu, Wuhan, Kunming can only enter and exit from Shuangliu International Airport, Tianhe International Airport, or Changshui International Airport.

Those who transit in Xiamen or Qingdao can enter and exit from Gaoqi International Airport or Liuting International Airport and their sea ports. 

 See more about 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy.

For the most frequently asked questions about this policy concerned, we try to make a sweeping generalization here, and hope this is helpful.

FAQ about 72-hour Visa-free Transit:

 1. What documents are required for passengers from the above countries to benefit from this policy and apply for permits to go out of the airport?

 Passengers are qualified to transit in those cities without visa only if they have valid passport or travel documents, as well as the confirmed flight ticket onward to the third country or region and valid visa (if required).

 2. How and where can I apply for a transit permit if I plan to go out of the airport during my stopover?

 You can put forward your request for transit to your airline in advance, so that the airline can declare this to the Immigration Inspection prior to your visit. You will be granted a transit permit at the airport if you meet all requirements. NOTE: Beijing Capital International Airport has now changed this procedure, passengers can apply directly for 72 hour free transit permit after arrival at the airport.

 3. I plan to enter Shanghai first and then buy ticket to another country within 72 hours. Am I allowed entry and transit without visa?

 According to the requirements, you must provide confirmed ticket to the third country or region when apply for the free transit permit. Otherwise, you can not enjoy this policy.

 4. I have a flight ticket from New York to Shanghai, and a separate ticket back to Los Angles. May I use this 72 hour free transit?

 The answer is NO. The place of departure and destination should not be in the same country or region. If you fly from New York to a third country via Shanghai, then you apply to this policy.

 5. If I can not depart within 3 days, what should I do?

 If you cannot depart from the transit city within the 3 days allowed, then you should apply for a Chinese visa from local Public Security Bureau.

 6. I plan to take a flight to Beijing for 3 days, and then take Trans-Siberian train from there to Ulan Bator in Mongolia. Am I eligible for this trip?

 Visa is required if you visit China this way. 72 hour free transit policy is for air passengers only. That is to say, you have to leave by air from the same airport. For passengers who plan to enter or leave China by train or cruise, they should apply for either Chinese transit (G type) or tourist (L type) in advance.

 7. If the arrival and departure of flights is more than 72 hours, is it permissible remain in the airport for some of the time and go to the city for the 72 hours or is the timing form the flight times?

 If it is only several hours more than the requirements, you can apply to enjoy this policy without waiting. According to the latest information from the airports, the 72 hours are calculated from 00:00 the following day of the entry date to the scheduled departure time in almost all the airports. However, if you happen to transfer in Beijing, you had better consult the airport in advance by dialing 0086-10-56095400, just in case that the 72-hour period counts from the scheduled arrival time to the departure time.

 8. If I understood correctly, even with this free transit policy for 72 hours, a transit permit has to be done at the airport when arriving? And this transit permit has to be then registered in a police station in the 24 next hours? What happens if my stay there is only of 20 hours? Can I save myself this registration which is probably time-consuming?

 Yes, you are right, the transit permit should be done at the airport on arrival. But the registration will be done when you check into a hotel. It is not necessary to register yourself personally at the local police station.

 Anyway, if you still have questions on 72 hour visa-free transit, please contact the Immigration Office or airport for more information.

Beijing Airport Immigration Inspection 0086-10-56095400
Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection 0086-21-51105100
Guangzhou Airport Immigration Inspection 0086-20-36066950
Chengdu Airport 0086-28-85205555
Chongqing Airport 0086-23-966666
Shenyang Airport 0086-24-96833
Dalian Airport 0086-411-96600
Harbin Airport 0086-451-82894220
Xi'an Airport 0086-29-88796997
Guilin Airport 0086-773-2845359
Kunming Airport 0086-871-96566
Hangzhou Airport 0086-571-96299
Wuhan Airport Immigration Inspection 0086-27-85333600
Tianjin Airport Immigration Inspection 0086-22-24905908
Qingdao Airport 0086-532-96567
Nanjing Airport 0086-25-968890
Changsha Airport 0086-731-96777
Xiamen Airport Immigration Inspection 0086-592-5706805
- Last updated on May. 25, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit FAQ
Asked by DUY LUU from USA | May. 24, 2023 21:28Reply
Is this route eligible?
June 22: ICN-PVG
June 24: PVG-HKG
Answers (3)
Answered by Marry | May. 25, 2023 00:11

Yes, your itinerary is eligible for the 144-hour visa-free transit.
Answered by Duy Luu | May. 25, 2023 09:03

Thanks for getting back to me!

Can we fly within China under the 144h visa free policy? For example ICN-Beijing-Shanghai-HKG-ICN?
Answered by Borut | May. 25, 2023 14:08

No, having two Chinese destinations from different transit areas is not allowed under 144 hour visa free transit.

You have perfectly understood this scheme based on your first itinerary, but your second one requires a visa obtained in advance.
Asked by arwen from BELGIË | May. 14, 2023 09:48Reply
Route without visa
Is this route ok for a transit without visa? Belgium-Beijing-Han Noi

And 2 weeks later:
Hanoi- Beijing- Belgium
Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | May. 14, 2023 12:18

Yes, it definitely is.

If one of your stops in Beijing is shorter than 24 hours, you will be covered by 24 hour visa free transit option and if one or both of your stops is/are longer than 24 hours, you will enjoy 144 hour visa free transit in wider Beijing area.
Asked by Costa from FRANCE | May. 12, 2023 09:49Reply
Transit without visa
Hello I'm flying Paris to Bangkok nights and then I'll stay 13 night at Hong Kong before going back to Bangkok and leaving the same day to Paris (cheapest flight).
Would it be possible to apply the transit visa on that 13 nights and stay 72h in Shanghai and then came back to Hong Kong
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | May. 12, 2023 12:42


Do you think about an itinerary:

Hong Kong - Shanghai - Hong Kong

If I am right and you think about this itinerary, then it is not possible because this is a return journey and not a transit. Anyway, with just a bit of imagination, you can do it in this form:

Hong Kong - Shanghai - Macau or you can reverse it to be Macau - Shanghai - Hong Kong

As you can see this is a real transit and if you use this option, you will be eligible for 144 hour visa free transit in wider Shanghai area.

So, it is 144 hour visa free transit in Shanghai that has replaced 72 hour visa free transit option years ago and it is not a transit visa, but visa free transit, so there is no any kind of visa at all.
Asked by Paul from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 09, 2023 13:47Reply
London-Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Ho Chi Mhin
We are all flying with UK passport from London to Guangzhou- on the day we arrive we will go to Hong Kong and we fly out of Hong Kong on the third day to Vietnam. All flights are pre-booked. Can I use the 72 hour visa free to get to Hong Kong and fly out?
Answers (4)
Answered by Jessica | May. 09, 2023 23:48

Yes, of course. In fact, it is 144-hour visa-free transit now. Your itinerary is complete eligible for this.
Answered by Borut | May. 10, 2023 03:21

I would like to add that you will have to book a ferry ticket from either Nansha (south from Guangzhou) or Shekou in Shenzhen directly to Hong Kong through CKS - Chu Kong Passenger Transport website before your departure and print out that ticket. You should have it with you because this is the proof of your real transit intention. Also, you will really have to take exactly that ferry you have bought the ticket for before your departure.
Answered by Paul Nixon | May. 11, 2023 00:33

Thank you Brout.
We wanted to take the fast train and I can pre-purchase tickets or am I limited to using the ferry only?
Answered by Borut | May. 11, 2023 03:53

There is no a single eligible train option. Ferry is eligible and it is also the most preferred option in the eyes of the Chinese authorities. As I have previously mentioned, your best options are Nansha port south from Guangzhou or Shekou port in Shenzhen.
Asked by Roger from USA | May. 04, 2023 05:33Reply
Cruising to Tianjin from Hong Kong then onward to Japan. Can I enjoy the 72 hrs VISA Free transit?
I hold an US passport. I will be cruising from Hong Kong to Tianjin. After the ship arrived to Tianjin on Day 1, I will take a tour right away to the Forbidden City on Day 1. I will stay overnight in a hotel in Beijing, and then on Day 2 I will tour the Great Wall. After I toured the Great Wall on Day 2, I will return to the same ship immediately and the ship will depart to Japan on Day 2 in the evening. My total stay in China is less than 48 hours. Can I apply for the 72 hours VISA Free Transit?
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | May. 04, 2023 11:52

Yes Roger, your itinerary is definitely and without any doubt eligible for 144 hour visa free transit. As you can see, the immediate points before and after your mainland China destination, are in two different eligible geographical entities, i.e. Hong Kong and Japan. In other words, when your ship docks in Tianjin, you will be granted a temporary entry permit free of charge and you will be able to perform the entire program you have described, absolutely visa free. You should just have in mind that Tianjin, Beijing and Hebei province are in one transit zone where 144 and not 72 hour rule is applied. In other words, you would be allowed to stay much longer than 48 hours you have mentioned.
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