144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in China

 Since January 8, 2023, passengers can take advantage of the 144-hour visa-free transit to visit designated cities and regions during the transfer in China, which has been suspended for 3 years because of covid-19.

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, Daxing International Airport

 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

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

Passport valid for at least 3 months from date of entry

British passport

Ticket to a third country with confirmed seat and date

International Flight Tickets

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 updated on May. 30, 2023 by Kate Liu -
Questions & Answers on 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit
Asked by James from SINGAPORE | Jun. 06, 2023 17:17Reply
Dedicated Counter at Beijing Capital Airport
Hi, I understand that passengers opted for this visa free arrangement need to go through dedicated immigration counter upon flight arrival. So far, is there any update on how long is the queue and clearance time on average at this counter? Thanks.
Answers (1)
Answered by Molly | Jun. 06, 2023 23:02

Generally, it won't take too long. As I know, the waiting time generally won't be over than 15 minutes.
Asked by Mei Mei from USA | Jun. 03, 2023 15:51Reply
Confirming route and repeat use
We're planning five steps:
1. Fly USA-Chengdu, staying 2-3 days.
2. Fly Chengdu to Tibet, where we need a tour company arranged visa.
3. Fly Tibet-Nepal (easy visa on site).
4. Fly Nepal-Chengdu. Stay for 3-4 days.
5. Fly Chengdu-USA.

So we would quality for the 144 day visa free in both step 1 and step 4, correct?
And my other visa info is correct?
Thank you.
Answers (2)
Answered by Borut | Jun. 03, 2023 17:11

We have several problems here... As far as I know, at least at the time being, there are no direct (nonstop) flights between US and Chengdu. Even if there are, you are not eligible for 144 hour visa free transit because your next destination is Tibet region that is an integral part of the mainland China.

It is important to know that the main condition for 144 hour visa free transit eligibility is that your immediate points, before and after your Chinese destination are in two different countries or eligible territories (eligible territories are Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau). For example, if there were direct (nonstop) flights between Chengdu and US, then your itinerary mentioned under 4 and 5:

Kathamndu (Nepal) - Chengdu (China) - US

Would definitely be eligible for 144 hour visa free transit.

So, you have to obtain a Chinese visa in advance because the Chinese visa obtained in advance is a condition that you can obtain Tibet Travel Permit.
Answered by Mei Mei | Jun. 08, 2023 01:50

Thanks for your answer.
Right now there are flights to Chengdu via Seoul.
If we transfer in Seoul to a direct flight to Chengdu, then go to Nepal, that would qualify, correct?

Then we could get a visa from Nepal into Tibet.

But we would need a normal China visa to return to Chengdu to fly out?

Thank you.
Asked by Dav from MALAYSIA | Jun. 01, 2023 04:43Reply
Is Malaysia - Wuhan - Honk Kong (with last leg by train) eligible?
Is Malaysia - Wuhan - Honk Kong (with last leg by train) eligible?
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | Jun. 01, 2023 04:49

No, unfortunately, you cannot do the last leg by train. Flying is the only option. Also, have in mind that your flights: Kuala Lumpur (or Penang) - Wuhan and Wuhan to Hong Kong have to be nonstop flights without any additional landing within mainland China.
Asked by Bud from JAPAN | May. 29, 2023 16:59Reply
Chengdu 144hr permissible port of entry
Hi Borut,

Thanks for your previous response. You mentioned a daily flight from Seoul to Chengdu. I could only find these for arrival into Tianfu airport, however I understand in Chengdu the only permissible port of entry for TWOV is Shuangliu airport? Shuangliu flights all seem to have a Shangai layover.
Answers (1)
Answered by Lily | May. 30, 2023 00:01

In fact, Chengdu Tianfu airport is also available for the 144-hour visa-free transit.
Asked by Bud from JAPAN | May. 29, 2023 09:17Reply
144hr twov qualifying questions
Hi - would appreciate your insights.
A) If I booked a flight from Tokyo to Seoul that arrived at 12pm. And I caught a flight out from Seoul to Chengdu say at 3pm. And my onward ticket is to Tokyo 6d later. Would that still qualify for 144hr twov bc my last port of departure was Seoul prior to arrival in China?
B) My destination in China is Chengdu. There seem to be no direct flights there, they all layover/transit in Shangai for up to 3hrs. Would I still qualify for the 144hr twov for chengdu / am I even able to travel there?
Many thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | May. 29, 2023 15:15

A) The only details that matter in this 144 hour visa free transit scheme are your immediate points before and after your mainland China destination and they have to be in two different countries or eligible regions (eligible regions are Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau). If you fly nonstop flights:

Seoul - Chengdu - Tokyo

You are fine and eligible for 144 hour visa free transit. Again, only the immediate points matter.

B) Since only the immediate points matter as explained above, you would not be eligible for 144 hour TWOV if you take a flight(s) via Shanghai. By the way, there is a daily direct flight from Seoul to Chengdu by Air China and probably some other airlines. There is also one weekly flight to Tokyo, but you can put Hong Kong or Taipei into combination to get an eligible itinerary. Shanghai is not of any use in your case.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)