144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in China

China's 144-hour visa-free transit policy is carried out in Guangdong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, LiaoningChengdu, Xi'an, ChongqingXiamenQingdaoWuhan, and Kunming as well as Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, to facilitate international travelers. It allows passengers from 53 countries or regions to transit in Guangdong Province, Shanghai-Jiangsu-Zhejiang region, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Liaoning Province, Sichuan Province or Chinese cities of Xi'an, Chongqing, Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan, and Kunming for no more than 144 hours (6 days) without holding a visa.

Who can enjoy China 144-hour visa exemption? - List of 53 Qualified Countries

China 144-hour visa
China 144-hour visa sample

 24 Schengen Agreement 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

 15 Other European Countries: Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, Monaco

 6 American Countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile

 2 Oceania Countries: Australia, New Zealand

 6 Asian Countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar

* The same as countries enjoying 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit.

What is an eligible transit route?

A → B: one of the allowed areas in Mainland China → C

144-hour Visa-free Transit Route

 A and C should be different countries or regions out of Mainland China.
* Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan can be the Destination A or C, so the route "UK-Shanghai-Hong Kong" is acceptable as the typical route "US-Hangzhou-Japan".

 B refers to only one of the following areas in China, and you cannot have a cross-area visa-free tour among them:

1. Guangdong
2. Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang
3. Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei
4. Liaoning
5. Chengdu
6. Xiamen
7. Qingdao
8. Wuhan
9. Kunming
10. Xi'an
11. Chongqing

 Key point: The international flights flying in and out of China – from A to B and from B to C – should be non-stop, without a stopover anywhere in Mainland China.

×  UK – Guangzhou – Shanghai - Hong Kong
×  US – Beijing – Shanghai - France
Note: Both of Beijing and Shanghai are eligible for this policy, but you can only have one between the original country and the third country.

√  US – Dalian - South Korea
√  Singapore – Shanghai – Hangzhou - Malaysia
Note: Shanghai and Hangzhou (provincial capital of Zhejiang) are within one visa-free area.

In which Chinese cities can I get a visa exemption for 144 hours?

1. Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang

Regions adopting 144-hour visa-free policy

 Shanghai:  All international air, sea and railway ports, including Pudong Airport, Hongqiao Airport, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, Wusong Passenger Transport Center and all railway stations.

 Hangzhou of Zhejiang:  Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport

 Ningbo of Zhejiang:  Ningbo Lishe Airport

 Nanjing of Jiangsu:  Nanjing Lukou Airport

Entry and Exit Ports

Passengers can enter and leave from any of the above ports. Eg: One can take a cruise to Shanghai and leave by air from Hangzhou or Nanjing.

Areas Allowed to Stay

Passengers can move around Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. If one have to go to other cities or can't leave within 144 hours, he/she should go to a nearby Public Security Bureau to apply for a visa.

See more about 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang

2. Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei

 Beijing: Capital International Airport, Beijing West Railway Station

 Tianjin: Binhai International Airport, Tianjin International Cruise Home Port

 Shijiazhuang of Hebei: Zhengding International Airport

 Qinghuangdao of Hebei: Qinhuangdao Beidaihe International Airport

Passengers are allowed to enter and exit from any of these ports and move around the three places.

 Note: Passengers taking international trains to / from Moscow, Ulaanbaatar, and North Korea cannot enjoy the 144h visa-free transit in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei zone, while those takings trains to / from Hanoi and Hong Kong are eligible.

See more about 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei

3. Liaoning Province

 Dalian: Zhoushuizi International Airport

 Shenyang: Taoxian International Airport

Passengers are allowed to enter and exit from either of the two ports and move around the whole province.

See more about 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Liaoning

See more about 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Chengdu

5. Xiamen: Gaoqi International Airport and sea ports

See more about 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Xiamen
 See more about 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Wuhan 
 See more about 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Kunming

8. Qingdao: Liuting International Airport and sea ports

Passengers are permitted to stay in the whole Shandong Province.

See more about 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Qingdao

9. Guangdong

Passengers are allowed to enter via Guangzhou AirportShenzhen Airport, or Jieyang Airport, and travel within Guangdong Province.

See more about 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Guangdong

10. Xi'an: Xianyang International Airport

See more about 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Xi'an

11. Chongqing: Jiangbei Airport, Wanzhou Wuqiao Airport

See more about 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Chongqing

How do I request the 144-hour TWOV China: transit without visa?

 6 Steps to Apply for 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit:

1.  Inform the carrier when boarding
2.  Fill an Arrival/Departure Card
3.  Apply for the 144-hour visa-free stay permit upon arrival
4.  Claim the luggage
5.  Go through the customs
6.  Leave the airport

how to apply for 144-hour visa-free transit

 Note for Step 3:

Upon arrival, find the 144-hour visa-free counter at the immigration inspection to apply for the entry permit, which will be stamped on your passport indicating the allowed stay time. Remember to tell the officer if you have a visa for China but don't want to use it this time.

Documents Needed for Application

1. Passport valid for at least 3 months from the date of entry

British passport

2. Ticket to a third country with confirmed seat and date

International Flight Tickets

3. Fully completed Arrival/Departure Card

China Temporary Arrival Card

* Prepare a valid visa if the third country or region in your plan requires.
* Hotel reservations may be required if you want to leave the airport.

How to count the layover time of 144 hours?

It counts from 00:00 of the day following passengers' arrival. That is to say, the allowed time to stay is actually longer than 144 hours.

Eg: If one arrives at 6:00 am on July 1, the layover time counts from 00:00 of July 2 and the passenger should hold a ticket with the scheduled departure time before 23:59 of July 7. In this case, the allowed stay period is 162 hours in maximum.

What can I do during the 144 hours?

Weeklong Tour in China

Convenient transportation among Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei endows tourists with a smooth trip, whether they enter by air, cruise ship, or international train. It's a must to visit the Great Wall and Forbidden City to explore China's long history and traditional culture. The Ancient Cultural Street in Tianjin and Shanhaiguan Great Wall in Hebei should not be missed either.

If using the visa-free transit in Shanghai, after visiting the Bund, Huangpu River, and skyscrapers, one can travel to Suzhou to see the classical Chinese gardens and elegant water towns. A stroll by the West Lake in Hangzhou and a taste of the delicious local snacks must be a perfect ending of the trip.

A trip to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, or Zhuhai along China's south coast is a good choice to feel the energetic economic development. 

Business Conferences and Trade Fairs

6 days are enough to attend various trade fairs or forums in Beijing, Shanghai, or the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, conduct market research, review suppliers' factories, or sign contracts with partners.

 Further Contact Information

Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection 0086-21-51105100
Nanjing Lukou Airport 0086-25-968890
Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport 0086-571-96299
Beijing Capital International Airport Immigration Inspection 0086-10-56095400
West Railway Station 0086-10-56092165 
Tianjin Binhai International Airport 0086-22-24905908
International Cruise Home Port 0086-22-25605128
Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport 0086-311-88027961
Qinhuangdao Qinhuangdao Beidaihe International Airport 0335-7520000
Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport 0086-411-96600
Shenyang Taoxian International Airport 0086-24-96833
Guangzhou Baiyun Airport 0086-20-36066622
Shenzhen Bao'an Airport 0086-755-82327700
Jieyang Chaoshan Airport 0086-663-3828770
Chengdu Shuangliu Airport 0086-28-85205555
Xiamen Gaoqi Airport 0086-592-96363
Qingdao Liuting Airport 0086-532-96567
Wuhan Tianhe Airport 0086-27-96577
Kunming Changshui Airport 0086-871-96566
Xi'an Xianyang Airport 0086-29-96788
Chongqing Jiangbei Airport 0086-23-966666

Note that if 1) you are not able to show any of the required documents listed above, 2) or your route does not qualify, 3) or you have overstayed in a country or been refused in visa application before, you may face the possibility of being refused at the 144 visa-free counter. For fear of inconvenience caused by such case, please make sure that you are eligible or apply for a regular visa in advance.

 Shanghai 15-day Visa-Free Policy for Cruise Tour Groups 

- Last modified on Aug. 27, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit
Asked by Shannon from UK | Aug. 25, 2020 03:39Reply
Shanghai to Hong Kong (a few days each)
I am planning a 2 week tour in Japan, and then go via Shanghai for 2 days and then to Kong Kong to fly back to London, as i will be travelling by sleeper train from Shanghai to Kong Hong and staying there for 3 days before my flight back to the UK will i be able to use the 72 or 144 hour exempt visa as i plan on doing some site seeing in both cities? FYI this is for mid 2021 as i am aware this is currently suspended due to Covid.
Answers (1)
Answered by Claire | Aug. 27, 2020 01:40

Shannon, yes, you can enjoy the 144h visa-free transit in Shanghai.
Asked by Rasmus from DENMARK | May. 26, 2020 10:23Reply
Question for 5 days stay in Shanghai
We are a family coming from Denmark, but in July (if they fly) to Japan. On the way home we have booked a flight from Osaka to Shanghai and are there for 5 days before traveling home from Shanghai to Denmark. I understand that we will be able to notify the airline in Osaka of our intention to stop in and spend 5 days in Shanghai before traveling home to Denmark, thereby getting a 144 hour visa free transit stamped in our passport. Is that correct understood?
Answers (2)
Answered by Janet from USA | May. 28, 2020 00:00

Currently, the 144h visa-free transit policy has been suspended because of the virus situation. I don't know whether it will be resumed in July.
Answered by Thomas | May. 29, 2020 03:28

China won't be open in July for foreign tourists.

And I don't think you will be alowed to visit Japan at this time.
Asked by Nicholas from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 06, 2020 08:13Reply
Multiple visa-free transits
Once international travel resumes and visa-free transit is once again available in China, would the following route be valid:

Taiwan > Flight to Guangzhou airport > 144 hrs transit in Guangdong > Train to Hong-Kong > a week in HK > Kowloon - Shanghai through train > 144 hrs transit in Shanghai > Flight to Singapore

Many thanks for your great website.
Answers (1)
Answered by Nicky | May. 06, 2020 22:59

Under the old rules it would have qualified but you would need to have your confirmed train tickets in your hand before you travel to China. Nobody knows what the situation might be in the future.
Asked by Abdul Wahid from SINGAPORE | Apr. 01, 2020 04:34Reply
Didn't get a sticker for the transit w/o visa
Hi.im a Singaporean.Airline informed by that I didnt need visa due to visa free policy between Singapore/china.i arrived Pudong on 27th march suppose transit to seoul same day.due to changes in air.i was taken to a quarantine facility in Shanghai.ive been in QT since.i checked my passport and there is only stamp no sticker.how will that affect my exit.getting abit worried now with the visa situation
Answers (1)
Answered by John Doe | Apr. 01, 2020 12:33

Singaporeans are eligible for a 15-day visa waiver, and hence they are not admitted under the TWOV program which is now suspended anyway. You have nothing to worry about.
Asked by Hugo F from USA | Mar. 17, 2020 18:36Reply
Flying from Australia to Beijing and then from Beijing to US via HK (just a connecting flight)
Dear Friends,

I'll be flying from Australia to USA via China. American Airlines just canceled the non stop flight that I had from Beijing to San Francisco. They confirmed me in this new different route: Beijing - HK (just connecting)- SFO.

Do I still qualify for the visa exemption?

Thanks, Hugo.
Answers (4)
Answered by Fiona from HUNGARY | Mar. 19, 2020 00:27

Yes, you do.
Answered by Hugo F from USA | Mar. 19, 2020 05:25

Thank you very much Fiona!
Answered by John Doe | Mar. 21, 2020 07:48

You may want to rethink your trip. Beijing has announced that all passengers arriving at it's airports are to be quarantined for two weeks and this may include transit passengers. Call Beijing immigration office to see what the latest policy is.
Answered by Hugo F from USA | Mar. 26, 2020 06:23

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the message. The trip will happen just in September. American Airlines rescheduled the flights last week and I am concerned about the new route. Hope it will work regarding the visa exemption. But thank you very much for your message and kindness, Hugo.
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