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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 modified on Dec. 29, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit FAQ
Asked by Kinga from GERMANY | Feb. 04, 2020 13:04Reply
Free Pages Passport
Hello, i will Fly via Beijing to Japan and in the was back from Japan to Germany doing a 5 days stop in Beijing. How many Pages in my passport need to be free for the 144hours Visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Janet from USA | Feb. 05, 2020 22:41

Kinga, usually at least two blank pages are requires, one for the 144h visa-free transit permit and the other for the entry and exit stamps.
Asked by Don from USA | Jan. 30, 2020 14:48Reply
Qualify for 72 or 144 hour TWO-V in Shanghai?
Arrive PuDong on 02Jun from LAX. Overnight in Shanghai Hotel. Depart Shanghai to Japan on cruise next morning, 03Jun. Can I qualify for "Travel With Out Visa" Program in Shanghai?
Answers (1)
Answered by Louise | Jan. 31, 2020 13:05

"Travel With Out Visa" doesn't exist. You may qualify for 24 or 144 hours Transit Without Visa if your LAX-Shanghai flight does not stop in Japan.
Asked by Gretchen from IRELAND | Jan. 29, 2020 21:29Reply
72 hour visa used twice?
I’m planning a trip from...

Dublin -> Beijing (stay for 2 nights) -> Hong Kong (stay for 2 nights) -> Shanghai (stay for 2 nights) -> Seoul -> Dublin

Is it possible with that route to do the 72 hour visa twice within a trip, once in Beijing and once in Shanghai?
Answers (4)
Answered by Saul | Jan. 29, 2020 22:51

It's not a visa. The route qualifies for 144 hours transit without visa.
Answered by Gretchen from IRELAND | Jan. 31, 2020 22:45

Thank you for the response. Sorry, a bit confused.

So if I got the 144hr transit when I first come to Beijing, I’d later be able to still use that same transit visa-free when I come to Shanghai (after staying in Hong Kong for 2 nights...refer to last post for flight path)? They wouldn’t just put me on 2 different transit visas like 2 72hr transits?
Answered by Nathan from CANADA | Jan. 31, 2020 23:27

You will be able to get another 144h visa-free transit when coming back to Shanghai. The 144h visa-free transit has replaced the 72h visa-free transit a few years ago.
Answered by Gretchen from IRELAND | Feb. 01, 2020 02:48

Oooh ok! Thank you!!
Asked by Pavlina from SLOVAKIA | Jan. 27, 2020 11:15Reply
Fly in march : Vie - kanton - hanoi
Hi, in march i fly with China Southern from Vienna to Hanoi. My fly is 14.3. From Vienna - then i have technical stop 15.3. in Urumchi 2,5 hours (CZ6022) and then i have stop in Kanton 23 hours (CZ8315) and then i go to Hanoi. Together it is 25,5 hours and 1 technical stol and 1 transfer stop. Can i have 72-hours-free visa? Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by CDKING from US | Jan. 27, 2020 14:01

No sorry if total time between schedule arrival in Urumqi and scheduled departure from Guangzhou is a minute more than 24 hours it needs a visa.
Asked by Matt from UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | Jan. 26, 2020 23:30Reply
Miami > Shanghai > Saipan > Shanghai > Miami
I have booked a round-trip flight for Miami > Shanghai (via Toronto) arriving Feb. 22 and departing Feb. 29. However, I only intend to stay in Shanghai for 24hrs because I have a separately booked round-trip ticket for Shanghai > Saipan departing Feb. 23 and returning to Shanghai Feb. 29, then continuing to Miami (with the first ticket). Can I use the 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit or do I need to apply for a 30-day tourist visa? Thank you!
Answers (3)
Answered by Saul | Jan. 27, 2020 00:56

This works only if you are connecting in Toronto in both directions. If you fly Saipan-Shanghai-Miami non-stop in either direction you will need a visa. It's 144 hours, not 72, and your passport must be from one of the 53 listed countries.
Answered by Matt from USA | Jan. 28, 2020 12:16

Thank you for your response. So to clarify, if I fly Miami>Toronto>Shanghai>Saipan and return Saipan>Shanghai>Toronto>Miami, I don’t need a visa? Even if I have separately booked tickets?
Answered by Saul | Jan. 29, 2020 00:23

Correct. The important thing is that Saipan-China-USA non-stop would count as USA-China-USA and therefore not a transit to a third country. Hence the stops in Canada are vital. Separate tickets have always been ok for TWOV.
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