144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in China

China's 144-hour visa-free transit policy is carried out in Guangdong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, LiaoningChengduXiamenQingdaoWuhan, 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 or Chinese cities of Chengdu, 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

 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 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

 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.

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

 The 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Guangdong has come into effect since May 1, 2019, and passengers are allowed to enter via Guangzhou Airport, Shenzhen Airport, or Jieyang Airport, and travel within Guangdong Province.

Other Cities Promissing to Adopt the Scheme: Chongqing, Xi'an

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

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 May. 24, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit
Asked by adrian from SPAIN | Jun. 17, 2019 04:22Reply
Beijing to UlanBataar (Mongolia) by bus and train
Hi. 1st of all thank you for your time helping many travellers from around the world.

I have a doubt. I will land from Vladivostok (Russia) to Beijing on the 4th August. My idea is to ask for a 144h visa, but I want to travel by bus and train to Mongolia. I see in one of your images (regions adopting 144 hours visa free policy) that inner mongolia is not painted, so I guess is not possible to travel in that area.

Basically, I need to know if I can apply for 144 hours visa even crossing Inner Mongolia on the way to Mongolia, or I have to apply for a normal toursit visa.

Thanks a lot.

Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 17, 2019 04:50

Unfortunately, you will have to apply for a visa because it is not allowed to use the train or bus between Beijing and Mongolia. Of course, the alternative is to fly from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar and become eligible for 144 hours visa free transit, but I assume that you intend to visit Inner Mongolia en route to Mongolia, so in your case, a visa would be really the best solution.
Asked by Charlotte from CANADA | Jun. 16, 2019 16:22Reply
I think I qualify for 144-hour visa but what if I'm wrong and they disagree?
I'm a Canadian flying Toronto-Shanghai-Bali in July 2019 and will be staying 141total hours. Given the time doesn't start until later that day, I think I'm well within 144 hours. But what happens if they disagree with me at the airport/port? Can they deny me entry? Will they let me in and then give me 72 hours to get a Visa or get out? Thanks
Answers (4)
Answered by John Doe | Jun. 16, 2019 16:32

The rule is quite clear: duration of stay starts from the day after the day of arrival. You do not need to worry about getting refused entry under that if your routing qualifies (i.e., Shanghai will be your only stop in Mainland China).

In the highly unlikely event of being refused entry, immigration will escort you to a ticketing counter and you will be allowed to purchase an outbound ticket to your destination of choice. Again this is all highly unlikely if everything is in order.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 16, 2019 16:33

Charlotte, could you present your exact days and hours of arrival/departure to/from Shanghai.
Answered by Charlotte from CANADA | Jun. 16, 2019 16:59

Thanks for your help. Arr July 27 around 7pm local time and leaving Aug 2 around 4pm. What if I'm delayed by a flight cancellation or bad weather? Will I be required to get a Visa for the extra 1-2 days I'm stuck there? Thanks again.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 17, 2019 00:28

Your dates and times are definitely within the frames for 144 hours visa free transit, so you should not worry about it any more. In case of adverse weather conditions or affected by flight cancellations, this is treated as something outside of your abilities and you should also know that in that case you will not be treated badly in any way, but you will be normally allowed to stay until the situation is resolved. Everything that matters is your scheduled arrival and your scheduled departure and that's it.
Asked by Simon from GERMANY | Jun. 16, 2019 16:01Reply
144 hr Visa for Bangkok - Shenzhen - Hong Kog via Ferry
Hello, i plan the following trip:

I would like to ask if the following trip is ok for the 144h visa free transit:
Bangkok - Shenzhen(or Guangzhou) - Ferry from Shenzhen to Hong Kong Airport

Would I meet the requirements for the 144h visa transit if I show the immigration the ferry ticket on arrival in Shenzhen/Guangzhou?
Thanks :)
Answers (8)
Answered by John Doe | Jun. 16, 2019 16:25

That depends on how long your layover is. If it's under 24 hours, then entering from Guangzhou is your only choice since Shenzhen doesn't allow people traveling to HK/Macau to enter without a visa when their layover is under 24 hours. If your layover is over 24 hours then both airports are fine.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 16, 2019 16:29

Johh Doe, isn't the rule of 24 hours for Shenzhen also the same for Guangzhou? I'm afraid it is.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 16, 2019 16:35

Also, I'm afraid that Chinese immigration could make a problem regarding the journey by ferry from Shekou port to Hong Kong airport because, legally, this is not a transit to Hong Kong since the user of this option is not entering Hong Kong at all, but is only in transit through Hong Kong airport.
Answered by Simon from GERMANY | Jun. 16, 2019 18:18

Hey, the plan is to stay in China for around 3-4 days (weekend).

But therefore it would be better to travel via train to HK?
Answered by John Doe | Jun. 16, 2019 20:42

If you will be staying for more than 24 hours then you will have nothing to worry about.

Zupan: here is Timatic's exact text on 24-hour entry permit:
This TWOV facility does not apply at Shenzhen (SZX) when passengers are traveling to Hong Kong (SAR China) or Macao (SAR China).
Guangzhou is not mentioned here.
Answered by John Doe | Jun. 16, 2019 20:43

Also immigration does not care whether one goes to HK to catch a flight or not. The official rule only stipulates that one must leave from Shekou, nothing else.
Answered by John Doe | Jun. 16, 2019 20:55

Going by train can pose a problem given that Mainland Chinese immigration checkpoint on HK soil is not recognized as a valid port of entry/exit under the rule, so that excludes all Guangzhou/Shenzhen-HK high speed rail departures. Your only option is the slower Guangzhou-Kowloon through train which will be time-consuming when you are originating in Shenzhen.
To summarize you have two most viable options: either arrive in Guangzhou and take the through train to HK, or arrive in Shenzhen and take the ferry. If money is not a factor then you can fly Giangzhou-HK as well.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 17, 2019 00:15

John Doe, thanks for your kind explanation. Essentially, I was a afraid that 24 hours visa free rule that forbids to all those who arrive at Shenzhen airport to continue to Hong Kong & Macau within that time frame is also valid for Guangzhou. Now, when I know that this is not the case for Guangzhou, this makes things much easier for all the travelers using Guangzhou airport and also allows them to behave as it was just a usual Chinese airport. Basically, only Shenzhen airport remains with this specific limitation. Good to know.

By the way, I was really concerned about the possibility that Chinese immigration could make problems regarding the ferry transfers from Shekou to HKIA because of the fact that a traveler really never enters properly Hong Kong as it is just in transfer from the moment of ferry docking at HKIA Skaypier until the very departure. I understand that you have told me that it is essentially important for mainland Chinese authorities that you are leaving the country at eligible port of entry/exit without caring of your status after that.

To conclude, Simon, you have several options and it is important for you to know that you have to book your ticket from mainland China to Hong Kong before your travel from Shenzhen. You can book your ticket through CKS - Chu Kong Passenger Transport Company website. You will get an e-voucher that will be just fine for your travel and you will exchange it for a real ticket upon arrival at Shekou port.

Regarding the details about the Guangzhou–Kowloon through train and details regarding this issue, just take a look at the post, just before yours, where it was explained to Rachel from New Zealand.
Asked by rachel beard from NEW ZEALAND | Jun. 16, 2019 15:43Reply
144 Hr Visa Free?
Hi there, I am flying into Guangzhou from New Zealand (arriving on 27th Jul) and then high speed training to Hong Kong that same day. Then flying from HK to Guanzhou to Thailand on the 30 July. Can I use the 144 Hr Visa Free option? Thanks
Answers (3)
Answered by John Doe | Jun. 16, 2019 16:22

You must hold a visa when traveling on the HSR. If you don't want to get a visa, then you need to be traveling on the Guangzhou-Kowloon through train.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 16, 2019 16:24

Well, you can relay on visa free transit option, but you will have to make some changes to your itinerary:

- You cannot depart within 24 hours from Guangzhou to Hong Kong using any other mean of transport beside the plane. Simply speaking, you have to wait at least 25 hours before you are allowed to take train or ferry. Only like this you can become eligible for 144 hours visa free transit. If you insist on departing from Guangzhou as soon as possible, then you will rely on plane and this will be 24 hours visa free transit. The rule of 24 hours visa free transit for Shenzhen and Guangzhou does not allows transfers by any other mean of transport to Hong Kong and Macau beside the plane.

- You are not allowed to take high speed train, but so called Guangzhou–Kowloon through train that departs from Guangzhou East railway station and after a bit less than 2 hours reaches Hung Hom railway station in Hong Kong. You can book your ticket at Guangdong Line Schedule - MTR Intercity Through Train website. Keep in mind that you will receive an e-confirmation and after you arrive in Guangzhou you will have to convert that e-confirmation in real paper ticket at the lobby of Grand Palace hotel in Guangzhou. You will have to take exactly that train that you have bought your tickets for!

- Your second part of itinerary, i.e. Hong Kong - Guangzhou - Thailand is fine, but if your intention is not to stay longer than 24 hours, then it will be again 24 hours visa free transit.

So, these are the rules and you will decide what will you choose and how will you plan your entire itinerary.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 17, 2019 00:21

So Rachel, just one correction... As explained by John Doe on the above post dedicated to Simon from Germany, I can tell you that you can use train or ferry to reach Hong Kong from Guangzhou even when you are traveling on 24 hours visa free transit. So, you can basically take a metro from the airport to Guangzhou East railway station immediately and take Guangzhou–Kowloon through train to Hong Kong without waiting for 24 hours to elapse. All the remaining details are correct.
Asked by Ross from SWITZERLAND | Jun. 16, 2019 05:42Reply
Can I enjoy 144h transit visa

I have a ticket Guatemala -Atlanta - Shanghai, then it’s due to return in December.

I have a separate ticket to take me to HK 5 days later, is it possible to get the visa for this or will I have an issue ?

I am Swiss!
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 16, 2019 06:21

If you are a Swiss citizen and your itinerary Atlanta - Shanghai - Hong Kong doesn't have any additional landing, you are definitely eligible for 144 hours visa free transit in Shanghai area. So, you will travel visa free (without visa) and you don't need one. Just use correct terminology to avoid any possible misunderstandings.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)