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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 Nov. 06, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit FAQ
Asked by John from USA | Nov. 18, 2019 17:22Reply
Staying with relatives in China?
I'm planning to travel via the TWOV to China. If I'm staying with relatives and friends in China and don't have a hotel confirmation, should I ask them to write an invitation letter?
Answers (2)
Answered by CDKing from USA | Nov. 18, 2019 18:06

If you are in transit to a third country there is no need for invitation letter. You will need to register at local police station since you are not staying in a hotel. Its best to be accompanied by one of the Chinese speaking relatives or friends to handle the process
Answered by John from USA | Nov. 18, 2019 18:26

Thanks. Would having a letter be helpful though for the immigration officer and lower your chances of getting denied randomly?
Asked by Walter Rempp from USA | Nov. 18, 2019 07:42Reply
Arriving by cruise
I am arriving in Shanghai ship port on a cruise. Before arriving in Shanghai the cruise stops in Japan. I am flying out of Shanghai airport the next day to the USA (Newark). I have a US passport. Am I eligible for the 72 hrs transit visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 18, 2019 14:54

Yes, your itinerary:

Japan - Shanghai - US

Is definitely eligible for visa free transit in Shanghai area. Anyway, there is one conditions and it says that your flight from Shanghai to New York is not allowed to have any additional landing within mainland China and in Japan.

Whether you will be eligible for 24 or 144 hour visa free transit is directly related to your entire transit time in Shanghai. If your entire transit time, calculated from your scheduled arrival in Shanghai by a cruise, until your scheduled departure by plane is less than 24 hours, you will be eligible for 24 hour visa free transit and if your entire transit time is longer than 24 hours for just a minute, you will be eligible for 144 hour visa free transit. In any case, you will travel visa free and you don't need any kind of visa.

72 hour visa free transit has been replaced in Shanghai by more generous 144 hour visa free transit a couple of years ago.
Asked by John from USA | Nov. 18, 2019 07:16Reply
Turkish Stamp
Hi, I meet all the requirements for a 72 or 144 hr TWOV. However I have a Turkish stamp from a few years ago when I traveled there for vacation. How big of a deal will that be? Should I renew my passport just to get rid of that? I was also a previous Chinese citizen now owning an US passport if that makes any difference.
Answers (3)
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 18, 2019 14:43

Turkish stamp is overly exaggerated issue. In reality, those having a Turkish stamp are just questioned a couple of question more than usual and if the answer is that you were in Turkey for a vacation and sightseeing only, then you are perfectly fine. OK, shopping is also fine :)

You should not answer that you were there for some kind of insight into the culture, religion, politics, education or meeting a friends. You simply don't have friends there and you are not contacting anybody there. You were there as if you were in Italy and you have left the country after that without making a contacts. If you answer in this way, you are perfectly fine and you will be granted a temporary entry permit without any problem. Just do not renew your passport because it would be an expense that you really don't need. Have a nice meal in China instead :)
Answered by John from USA | Nov. 18, 2019 15:00

Thank you! Agreed. Chinese tourists go to Turkey all the time so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 18, 2019 23:22

Asked by Sam from USA | Nov. 17, 2019 13:26Reply
China trip in 5 days
Hi, I have a trip to China in 5 days. I'll be flying straight to Beijing and then to Taiwan a few days later. I have a US passport and have all the hotel confirmations. Should I bother trying to get a rush service visa to be safe? Or is it just not worth it since it should be pretty easy to do this visa-free travel?
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 17, 2019 13:44

You are definitely eligible for 144 hour visa free transit and you really don't need any kind of visa. You should print out your flight tickets and your accommodation booking confirmation. Also, you will declare at check-in in US that you will travel to Taiwan via Beijing using 144 hour visa free transit. After a short inspection, you will be allowed to board the plane.

Upon arrival in Beijing, you will approach 144 hour visa free transit counter where you will fill out a blue form. After that you will get a sticker in your passport and be allowed to exit the airport and to spend the time as you wish until your departure for Taiwan.
Asked by ian self from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 17, 2019 00:36Reply
24 hour visa
I am travelling Melbourne to Guangzhou with 15 hour stopover then to Harbin then onto Vladivostock do I need a Visa to leave Airport Thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 17, 2019 03:44

Ian, the first and the most important detail is whether you are eligible or not for 24 hour visa free transit!

To know this detail, you have to calculate your total transit time within mainland China. It is calculated from your first scheduled landing, in your case in Guangzhou, until your last scheduled departure, in your case from Harbin. If the total time you need for this transit is less than 24 hours, you will be eligible for 24 hour visa free transit and you don't need any kind of visa, but if your total transit time is longer than 24 hours for at least a minute than you will need a Chinese transit (G) visa obtained in advance.

As far as your question is concerned is, no you will not need a visa to exit the airport. You will be perfectly allowed to do that.

You will print out your flight tickets and have those printouts with you. Also, you will declare at check-in in Melbourne that you will travel to Vladivostok via China using 24 hour visa free transit. Your tickets will be shortly inspected and you will be allowed to board the plane. One more important thing that you have inform yourself in Melbourne is whether your luggage will be tagged all the way to Vladivostok.

Upon your arrival in Guangzhou, you will immediately approach 24 hour visa free transit counter where you will apply for a temporary entry permit that will be granted to you because your next flight segment will be a domestic Chinese flight. So, you will be allowed to exit in both Guangzhou and Harbin, time permitting, of course.
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