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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, 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 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 May. 07, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit FAQ
Asked by Mark Andrews from UK | Jul. 22, 2019 07:30Reply
Beijing cruise to Japan
We fly from the UK into Beijing via Dubai and are in Beijing for approx 48hrs before departing on a cruise ship for Japan.
Are we eligible for the 72 hour transit without visa.
Hope you can help
Many thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jul. 22, 2019 14:08

Mark, you are eligible for 144 (72 hours were replaced by 144 hours) visa free transit in Beijing, but there are several conditions your itinerary has to fulfill:

- Your flight UK - Dubai - Beijing should not have any additional landing in mainland China and Japan
- Your cruise should not have its first port call, immediately after Tianjin (Beijing), in mainland China

If the above conditions are met, you are definitely eligible for 144 hour visa free transit in Beijing area.
Asked by Chris from UNITED KINGDON | Jul. 22, 2019 07:28Reply
Can I apply for a transit on multiple occasions
I am travelling from the Uk to Japan Via Beijing with a 24 hour stop over on the way. I will then be returning from Japan via Beijing for a 48 hour stop over on the way and plan to visit the great wall of china while in Beijing. Would I be able to make use of the transit visa for this trip or would I need a full tourist visa?
Many thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jul. 22, 2019 14:03

Your entire itinerary is definitely eligible for visa free transit in Beijing under the condition that you have mentioned all the stops within your itinerary, especially within the mainland China.

The first portion will be eligible for 24 or 144 hour visa free transit depending on your exact time you will spend in Beijing for the purpose of your transit and the second portion will be definitely eligible for 144 hour visa free transit. You are absolutely free to travel around Beijing including the Great Wall.

By the way, there is no limit on how many times one can use visa free transit scheme in China.
Asked by Helen from USA | Jul. 19, 2019 10:53Reply
Shanghai -Hong Kong - Beijing - US
I'm arriving Shanghai by plane and take a cruise in port of Shanghai that end in hong Kong fly back to US from hong kong stopover in Beijing then to US do I need a visa

Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jul. 19, 2019 14:49

Assuming that you will arrive from US, you are eligible for visa free transit in principle, but you have to check your entire itinerary to see whether it meets the following conditions:

- Your flight from US to Shanghai should not have any additional landing within mainland China and the country where you will have your first port call, immediately after Shanghai
- Your cruise should not have as the first port call, immediately after Shanghai, a port in mainland China

Your flight from Hong Kong via Beijing to US is fine because you will be covered by 24 hour visa free transit in Beijing.
Asked by Todd Thakar from UNITED STATES | Jul. 18, 2019 08:22Reply
Does that count as a third country?
If I fly to China from the US and change planes in Hong Kong, either on the way to China or on the way back to the US, does that count as a third country?
Answers (1)
Answered by CDKING from US | Jul. 18, 2019 10:48

Hong Kong is considered a third country. You can either enter or exit via HKG but not both ways.
Asked by Anthony Powell from GB | Jul. 18, 2019 08:14Reply
crusie ship arrival departure by air.
I am arriving in Shanghai by cruise liner and staying less than 72hours before flying to Paris. Do I need a visa? Where do I apply for the correct application form?
Answers (2)
Answered by Rita from USA | Jul. 19, 2019 02:01

Anthony, your itinerary is eligible for 144h visa exemption transit in Shanghai.
Answered by Tony from UK | Jul. 19, 2019 06:40

thank you very much for that information.

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