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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 Dottie from USA | May. 21, 2019 21:01Reply
USA - Shanghai - Taiwan - USA
hello! I have a roundtrip ticket from USA to Taiwan and another roundtrip ticket from Taiwan - Shanghai, will I be able to use the 72 hour visa in Shanghai?
Answers (1)
Answered by Betty from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 21, 2019 23:40

Dottie, how will you plan your route? USA - Taiwan - Shanghai - Taiwan - USA? If so, you are not able to use the visa-free transit in Shanghai.
Asked by Sandra from USA | May. 21, 2019 07:24Reply
Boston - Shanghai, 1 night hotel, cruise, 2 nights hotel - Boston
Boston - Shanghai, 1 night hotel stay, 8 nights cruise back to Shanghai for 2 nights hotel stay then return to Boston. Do I need a visa or does the 72 or 144 hours free transit visa work?
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | May. 21, 2019 12:22

Your itinerary is fine for 144 hours visa free transit twice or maybe for 24 hours visa free transit during your first arrival in Shanghai in case that the time from your scheduled arrival in Shanghai until your scheduled departure for your cruise is less than 24 hours. Never mind, the most important thing is that you can travel via Shanghai visa free. One more detail that is very important! Your cruise should not have as the first port call immediately after Shanghai a port in mainland China and also it should not have a mainland China port call immediately before your arrival in Shanghai! Please, just check the details (port calls) of your cruise to be certain that the port calls are in order as mentioned.
Asked by Jutta from GERMANY | May. 21, 2019 00:32Reply
Flying in to Beijing, taking cruise from Tianjin
Would this travel intinery qualify for 144 h transfer visum? Can we apply for this at the Airport?
Answers (1)
Answered by CDKING from US | May. 21, 2019 04:42

Yes that is fine as long as the first cruise port is not in the same country your flight landed in Beijing from.
Asked by Clo from FRANCE | May. 19, 2019 21:03Reply
Hanoi -> Beijing -> Madrid
I am doing round trip from Hanoi to Madrid in August. Both flights have 14 to 20 hours stop in Beijing. Am I allowed to enjoy the 72 hours Visa two times in one month?
Answers (1)
Answered by Judd | May. 20, 2019 00:11

You will qualify for 24 hours visa-free transit both times.
Asked by ella from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 18, 2019 05:23Reply
We're going to Seoul from London in a couple of weeks and have a short layover in Beijing
(couple of hours, won't leave the airport). We will stay there for 8 days.

However, on the way back from Seoul to London we have a three day layover in Beijing (just under 72 hours), and plan to explore Beijing then. Am I correct in assuming that we will be able to use the visa free 72 hour policy? Thanks!
Answers (1)
Answered by CDKING from US | May. 18, 2019 06:02

Yes that is ok with UK Passport. 72 hours was increased to 144 hours so you could actually stay longer in Beijing if you wish.
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