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 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 Mar. 07, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China 72-hour Visa
Asked by Jim from USA | Mar. 13, 2019 07:13Reply
Two Transit Visas
I have a multi-stop Asia trip planned, with transfers in Shanghai:

Inbound: US - Canada - Shanghai - Hong Kong
Return: Tokyo - Shanghai - Canada - US

Given what I have read, I can do a 72/144 hour transit visa in Shanghai on the inbound. Is that correct?

On the return, I am only in Shanghai for six hours (connecting flights) but need to move between the Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 because there is no international transfer between the two terminals. I believe I can request a 24 hour visa waiver for this, correct?

Last question, is there an issue with having these two visas waivers issued so close together?

Answers (1)
Answered by Wheeler | Mar. 13, 2019 19:13

You can get two free transits in your trip and there is no issue. Don't worry and nice trip.
Asked by donati from ITALY | Mar. 09, 2019 02:09Reply
is this itinerary eligible for the 72-hours visa free ?
I am a professor going from Italy to Nanjing to give a lecture
My intended itinerary is
Milano- HongKong (transit only)- Nanjing - Taipei
please confirm me back,
S Donati
Answers (2)
Answered by Natasha from HONDURAS | Mar. 10, 2019 22:55

Yes, this itinerary eligible for the 72-hours visa free.
Answered by silvano donati from ITALY | Mar. 11, 2019 03:59

thanks !
Asked by May from USA | Feb. 21, 2019 12:51Reply
US Passport holder. I will be traveling from Palawan Philippines transit in Ghangzhou (72hrs)
and than to Krabi Thailand. Am i eligible for the 72hr transit visa?

Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Ferguson from SAN MARINO | Feb. 21, 2019 18:53

Yes, you are eligible for 72h twov in Guangzhou in this trip.
Asked by may from USA | Feb. 19, 2019 18:28Reply
US Passport holder wanting to visit Guangzhou

I'm curious if i'm eligible for the 72hr China visa if i travel from Hong Kong to Guangzhou for 3 days and than back to Hong Kong?

Answers (1)
Answered by Gonzalez from DENMARK | Feb. 20, 2019 18:12

It's not a transit, so you won't qualify for the free transit.
Asked by Delia from PHILLIPINE | Feb. 12, 2019 03:19Reply
Im holding a phil passport and planning togo hongk
Im holding a phil passport will goto hongkong..then macau can i goto beijing china only for three days how can i get a visa and d requirement
Answers (1)
Answered by Nicole from FRANCE | Feb. 12, 2019 19:57

If you go to Beijing for sightseeing purpose, first, you need to provide a filled-out application form affixed with 2 passport-style photos, your passport and its photocopy, round trip air tickets and hotel reservation, your travel plan, bank statement, tax certificate, identity card, as well as other documents the consular officers consider necessary. Next, submit the application to the Chinese embassy to apply for tourist L type.
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