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 54 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 54 Qualified Countries

China 144-hour visa
China 144-hour visa sample

 25 Schengen Agreement Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, 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 

 Cruise ports in Lianyungang, Wenzhou and Zhoushan

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, International Cruise Port

 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 Cruise 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 AirportJieyang Airport, Guangzhou international cruise port, Shenzhen international cruise port 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.


 Further Reading:
China Visa-free Policy

How to Travel to China without a Visa

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

- Last updated on May. 16, 2024 by Brenda Lian -
Questions & Answers on 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit
Asked by Tina from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 18, 2024 04:58Reply
China/Japan holiday
If i was to fly from London -> Beijing (3 days) -> Japan/Osaka (5 days) -> Tokyo (7 days) -> Shanghai (3 days) -> London, would that be eligible for the visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | Jun. 18, 2024 23:28

Your entire itinerary is definitely and undeniably eligible for 144 hour visa free transit twice. You are encouraged to use correct terminology because this is not a visa, but visa free transit, so there is no visa of any kind. Really a good example of how to use 144 hour visa free transit in the best possible way :) Have a nice journey.
Asked by Miling from CANADA | Jun. 17, 2024 13:17Reply
If I fly from Toronto to Hong Kong then to Mainland China for 144 hr
If I fly from Toronto to Hong Kong enter Zhaoqing Mainland China via Hong Kong for 144 hr free visa and go back Hong Kong for one day and then go back zhaoqing, mainland China again for another 144 hr. free visa?

What document we need if we are staying with friends in China?
Please advise
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | Jun. 17, 2024 23:14

In order to be eligible for 144 hour visa free transit in Guangdong province, Zhaoqing included, you will have to fly from Hong Kong to Guangdong and then travel to Zhaoqing overland. Simply speaking the only way to be eligible for this visa free transit scheme in Guangdong province is to fly into one of three designated airports within the province. Also, you should be aware that you cannot exit from Guangdong province to Hong Kong because that would be a return trip and not a transit. In another words, you will have to exit to Macau by ferry from, for example, Shekou port in Shenzhen. Also, to be eligible you would have to buy your ferry ticket in advance, even before you have departed from Hong Kong toward mainland China. When you reach Macau, you can return to Hong Kong.

These same rules are valid for your second visit to Zhaoqing as well. By the way, it is fine to use 144 hour visa free transit scheme in a row because there is no limit on how many times you can use this scheme within a certain period of time.

You are allowed to stay with your friends. Upon your landing in Guangzhou, you will present to the immigration the address where will you stay along with the full name and the phone number of your friends because the border authorities may decide to make an ad hoc check. Also, you will have to register yourself within 24 hours after your arrival within the nearest PSB (Public Security Bureau) and the best way to do that is to come there accompanied with your friend because of the language and the procedures you are not familiar with.
Asked by Mike from USA | Jun. 16, 2024 19:27Reply
144 hour visa free transit for multi-nation trip
Our family (US citizen) already have plane ticket from NYC to Japan to Korea and back to NYC. We wanted to visit China for few days. If we were to get flight tickets from Korea to Beijing back to Korea, does that meet 144 hour visa free transit? If we need to visit another region, do we need to buy a multi-city ticket or can we do 3 one way ticket? As an example, buy a one way ticket from korea to beijing, buy another one way ticket from beijing to hong kong and another one way ticket from hong kong to korea.
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | Jun. 17, 2024 02:03

In order to be eligible for 144 hour visa free transit, you have to have two details in mind:

1. Immediate points before and after your mainland China destination (Beijing in your case) have to be in two different countries or eligible territories (eligible territories: Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau).
2. You are not allowed to have more landings within mainland China in a row.

In other words, itinerary South Korea - Beijing - South Korea is not eligible.

Itinerary South Korea - Beijing - Hong Kong is eligible.

You can also use South Korea - Beijing - Japan because it is closer than Hong Kong.

In any case single tickets are perfectly eligible as well as different airlines and you should not bother yourselves with multi-nation type of ticket(s).

Have a nice journey.
Asked by Ng HC from SINGAPORE | Jun. 16, 2024 18:39Reply
Flying in Hong Kong, then boarding train to Shenzhen and Guangzhou
Hi, can I fly to Hong Kong (2 nights), then take a train to Shenzhen (2 nights) then to Guangzhou (2 nights) before flying back to Singapore.
Do I need to apply any visa?
Many thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | Jun. 17, 2024 01:55

You did not mention your citizenship. If you are a Singaporean citizen you do not need any kind of visa because Singaporean citizens are allowed to enter and stay in mainland China for up to 30 days visa free. If you are a citizen of a country that needs a visa to visit China, you will have to obtain one in advance.
Asked by Steve from HONG KONG | Jun. 11, 2024 00:23Reply
What if I'm not staying in a hotel in mainland China? I'm staying with a friend for five days. How would I prove my accommodation plans via this route?
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | Jun. 11, 2024 06:44

Staying at friends, relatives and similar is definitely acceptable and is used by many. You will have to declare the full name & surname of your friend, exact address and her/his phone number for ad hoc check if the border authorities consider that necessary. Also, you will have to register yourself at the closest PSB within 24 hours after your arrival in China and the best way to do that is to arrive there accompanied with your friend. That's it.
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