China 72-hour Visa

Air travelers holding a passport from 53 countries can have access to the 72-hour visa in nearly twenty cities of China as long as they meet the requirements. This allows them to take a short China tour up to 72 hours without obtaining a visa in advance. As the 72-hour visa-free transit procedure is fast and totally free for visitors, it saves the money and time consumed by the regular China visa application process.

Now, the 72-hour visa is available in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xi'an, Chongqing, Harbin, Guilin, Kunming, Wuhan, Xiamen, Qingdao, Changsha, Tianjin, Shenyang, Dalian, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Shijiazhuang, and Qinhuangdao.

* Note that if you are transiting in Guangdong, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Shenyang, Dalian, Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Chengdu, Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan, or Kunming the 72-hour visa exemption has been extended to 144-hour visa-free transit.

Confirm your eligibility for 72-hour visa before departure

Travelers must confirm their eligibility for 72-hour visa-free transit scheme before leaving to not ruin their China trips.

1. Check whether you hold a valid passport from one of the countries listed below:

 American Countries: US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile

 Oceania Countries: Australia, New Zealand

 Schengen Agreement Countries: Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

 Other European Countries: UK, Ireland, Russia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Belarus, Monaco

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

2. Check your flight itinerary

72-hour visa-free transit route
Eligible Flight Route

This is the most critical but confusing step when confirming whether you qualify for the 72-hour visa.

 First, make sure that your flight route is Country A → China (B) → Country C. A and C are different countries and can include Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan. B is the transit city in China. You must have an onward ticket to country C with a confirmed seat and date.

 Second, remember that you can transit only in one Chinese city, which means two stops in China would make you ineligible for this visa-free transit.

 Third, calculate your flight layover in the city involved. The layover should be less than 72 hours, but since it counts from 00:00 of the day following your arrival, you may actually stay a little longer than 72 hours.

3. Have a visa for the destination country if required

You should obtain a visa for the country you will visit immediately after the layover in China if you are required to have one. Of course, if you enjoy free entry to the country, it's not needed. If you wish to get a visa on arrival at the destination country, you should obtain a document proving that you are able to do so.

6 steps to apply for China's 72-hour visa

1. Inform your airline when boarding
2. Fill out an Arrival/Departure Card on the flight
3. Apply for the 72-hour visa at the designated counter upon arrival
4. Claim luggage
5. Go through the custom
6. Leave airport

If you will stay for more than 24 hours in China, you need to register your stay at the local police station within 24 hours of your arrival. Hotels can do this for you, but if you lodge at a friend's or relative's house, you will need to visit the police station in person with your host.

Take a visa-free tour during the layover

As you are allowed to go out of the airport when using the 72-hour visa-free transit, why not take advantage of this to take a tour in the transit city? Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi'an, Chengdu, Xiamen, Guilin, and Hangzhou all rank among the best travel destinations within China. Exploring cities can uncover a corner of China in front of your eyes and provide a fun experience. See some of the best visa-free tour packages.

- Last modified on May. 05, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China 72-hour Visa
Asked by Jane from AUSTRALIA | May. 17, 2019 22:18Reply
Which Visa for Flying from SYD (Aust) to Tokyo (Japan) then Beijing then SYD (Australia
Wondered if this applies to the 144hr free transit visa Beijing visa ?
Answers (1)
Answered by lve from AUSTRIA | May. 20, 2019 01:39

You can enjoy 144-Hour Visa-free if you transit in mainland China for a stay of no more than 144 hours before heading for SYD.
Asked by Simona from SLOVENIA | May. 12, 2019 23:59Reply
Free Visa transit, possible?
Hey my husband is from SLOVENIA and he will fly from ZAGREB to China and Banghok.
Hi will fly 17.5 to China Beijing and from Shenyang ,and from Shenyang to Chengdu and Bangkok
Can he use this 72 or 144 hour free visa transit, how he aranges this.

Answers (1)
Answered by Rachel from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 14, 2019 01:04

Dear, as he will stop in three Chinese cities, neither the 72 or 144 hour visa-free transit is applicable. If the total time for his transit in China is not more than 24 hours, he can enjoy the 24h visa-free transit.
Asked by Remo Piantadosi from AUSTRALIA | May. 09, 2019 21:21Reply
Fly into Chengdu out of Chongching allowed?
Answers (1)
Answered by Cissy from AUSTRALIA | May. 12, 2019 17:50

Absolutely not, you can transit only in one Chinese city under the condition of 72-hour visa-free.
Asked by Dan Care from THAILAND | Apr. 20, 2019 21:48Reply
24 hours or 72 hours VISA ?
Hi, I am flying to Shanghai from Thailand and after landing in Shanghai the next day (within 24 hours) onwards to Seoul Korea. Is it better to get 72 hours or will 24 hours suffice? thanks to let me know. Dan
Answers (3)
Answered by Mon from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 21, 2019 23:14

Dan, it depends on whether you will leave the airport. If yes, I would suggest that you apply for the 144 hours visa-free transit, which has already take place of the previous 72-hour free transit in Shanghai.
Answered by Dan Care from THAILAND | Apr. 22, 2019 00:08

Yes I am planning to leave the airport and do a quick factory visit. The next day I would leave from Hongqiao airport to Seoul. Arrival will be at Pudong airport. I would simply apply for the 144 hours visa after landing before customs? Thanks in advance Mon
Answered by ZUPAN | Apr. 25, 2019 04:23

You should be careful which passport will you use for your journey. Thai passport is not eligible for 144 hours visa free transit.
Asked by Amber from AMERICA | Apr. 09, 2019 20:14Reply
Layover in HND before returning to KOJ
KOJ-> Shanghai -> Hong Kong ( transit layover) -> KOJ

would this work for the 72 hour pass?
Answers (1)
Answered by Janez from SLOVENIA | Apr. 10, 2019 14:27

Definitely. You are perfectly within the legal frame for 72 or 144 hours visa free travel. Depending on the amount of time that you plan to spend in Shanghai.
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