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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, Xian, 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 Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, or Liaoning can enjoy a free stay of 144 hours. 

Passengers transiting in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang can enter and exit from Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport, Nanjing Lukou 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 Port.

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

Note that Guangdong is aslo planning to adopt this policy. Those who transit in Guangdong can enter from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, Shenzhen Bao'an Airport, or Jieyang Chaoshan Airport, and leave from any port in Guangdong.
 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
Xian 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 modified on Nov. 14, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit FAQ
Asked by Mike W from USA | Nov. 14, 2018 18:20Reply
Does this route comply with the “transit without visa” requirements for a stopover in Shanghai?
Answers (1)
Answered by Sarah | Nov. 14, 2018 19:44

Yes, you are able to apply the free transit in Shanghai.
Asked by LASSESWE | Nov. 13, 2018 11:59Reply
Stockholm-Beijing-Copenhagen 144h visa free OK?
My flights will be
STO (Sweden) - PEK (China) - CPH (Denmark)

Will the 144h free transit be OK?
Answers (1)
Answered by Swan from GERMANY | Nov. 13, 2018 19:26

Yes, the 144h free transit will be OK for your trip.
Asked by SK from USA | Nov. 12, 2018 20:43Reply
ORD -> NRT -> PVG -> ORD

I'm flying from Chicago to Narita (3 day stop), Narita to Shanghai (2 days), and then back to Chicago. Does this qualify for the 72 hour free transit?

Answers (3)
Answered by Enzo from THAILAND | Nov. 12, 2018 22:00

This qualifies for the 144 hour free transit in PVG.
Answered by Jennifer from USA | Nov. 13, 2018 21:17

Trying to see if this is all on one ticket like a multi city trip or did you buy one way tickets? Wanted to stop in Chongqing for the 72 hrs for the visa free transit. So wanted to do LAX-Chongqing-Japan-LAX. Trying to see if this is ok and If I buy a one way from LAX-Chongqing then one way Chongqing to Japan? Are one way tickets allowed for the visa free transit or do they have to all be on one same ticket?
Answered by Wilder | Nov. 13, 2018 22:00

LAX-Chongqing-Japan-LAX will be ok to apply for the free transit, and you can buy a one way from LAX-Chongqing then one way Chongqing to Japan.
Asked by Sheena Mackenzie from UNITED KINGDOM | Nov. 12, 2018 09:17Reply
Amsterdam > Hong Kong > Guangzhou, then Guangzhou > Hong Kong > Amsterdam
Will this route be okay for the 72 hour free transit on arrival at Guangzhou? Thank you
Answers (2)
Answered by Rob | Nov. 12, 2018 12:05

The route is okay only if you fly between Hong Kong and Guangzhou. If you want to travel by rail, you need a visa. By the way, it's "transit without visa" not "transit visa on arrival" (which doesn't exist and could confuse agents).
Answered by Rob | Nov. 12, 2018 12:34

You definitely need a visa, because Hong Kong-Guangzhou-Hong Kong is not a transit at all.
Asked by B. Hill from UK | Nov. 11, 2018 21:58Reply
Departing Shanghai by cruise ship TWOV
We are arriving Shanghai by BA flight from London , but leave Shanghai by cruise ship 36 hours later, staying overnight in Shanghai. We are British passport holders. The cruise ship does not renter China . Is the ship Boarding Pass sufficient evidence to Shanghai Immigration for them to stamp passport for entry and short stay in Shanghsi city?
Answers (1)
Answered by Enzo from EGYPT | Nov. 12, 2018 00:09

You could use the free transit in Shanghai, and no visa will be needed.
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