24-hour direct transit in China, also called the 24-hour transit without visa (24-hour TWOV for short), regulates that visa is not required for air, train, and ship passengers transiting in mainland China for a stay of no more than 24 hours before heading for a third country or region.
|24-hour Direct Transit Rules|
Aliens are able to enjoy 24 hour direct transit in most Chinese cities excluding Yanji, Mudanjiang, and Fuzhou. People cannot enjoy the 24 hours visa free transit in Shenzhen either, while 5-Day Visa on Arrival in Shenzhen & 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Guangdong enables tourists to travel in Shenzhen.
The 24-hour direct transit is available for passengers holding onward air, cruise or train ticket with confirmed seat to a third country or region. Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan can be regarded as a third region in this respect. For instance, if a passenger travels like USA – Beijing – Hong Kong – USA, there is no doubt that this route qualifies for China 24 hour TWOV.
Stopover Time Counting:
Ending: scheduled departure time
If wishing to leave the transiting area to explore the city during the layover, passengers are supposed to apply for a free temporary stay permit at the immigration counter upon arrival.
Who Are Eligible for 24-Hour TWOV?
Recommended Day Tours for Transit Passengers
To Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Great Wall…
To Terracotta Warriors, City Wall, Small Wild Googe Pagoda...
To Yuyuan Garden, the Bund, Shanghai Museum...
In Beijing, tourists can visit the Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City together for a day trip. Managing your time well is critical. It respectively takes about one hour and three hours from the airport to the city center and Badaling. A Huangpu River Cruise can be a highlight of your one-day impressive trip in Shanghai.
What Are the Restrictions?
Generally speaking, the 24-hour direct transit allows aliens to have multiple stops in China as long as they leave the country within 24 hours. Nevertheless, if transiting in Weihai, Wuhan, Xian or Zhengzhou, US and Canadian citizens cannot enjoy multiple-stop transit.
Besides, in Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, most travelers only enjoy visa-free transit for up to 2 hours. But if they can exit mainland China within the remaining 22 hours, there is no problem for them to apply for 24-hour TWOV.
Requirements & Procedures
Show valid passport and tickets - Apply for the 24-hour TWOV and temporary stay permit upon arrival - Claim the luggage (if needed) - Go through the customs - Leave transiting area
Differences among 24/72/144-Hour Free Transit
|24-Hour TWOV||72-Hour Visa-Free Transit||144-Hour Visa-Free Transit|
|For almost all countries||For 53 countries||For 53 countries|
|Available in most Chinese cities||Available in major Chinese cities||Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning |
Guangdong (To be implemented)
|By air, cruise, train||By air||By air, cruise, train|
|Counted from the landing time||Counted from 0:00 the day following the entry date (Scheduled landing time in Beijing)||Counted from 0:00 the day following the entry date|
|Multiple stops||Single stop||Multiple stops|
Note that if 1) you lack any of the required documents listed above, 2) or your route does not qualify, 3) or you have the record of overstaying in a country or getting visa refusal before, your application for the 24-hour direct transit may be turned down. For fear of inconvenience caused by such case, please make sure that you are eligible or apply for a regular transit visa in advance.