China 72-hour Visa
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
|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.
I arrive in Beijing around 06:35am on 24th Nov, and leave at 3pm on the 26th Nov. I have proof that I am arriving from Kuala Lumpur and leaving to go Houston TX (seats are already booked and pre-paid) on my e-ticket. Is this sufficient enough to obtain a free transit visa (72-144 hours). I will be staying in a hostel, so can register with them (regarding Police). I am going to get it in writing about the visa from the airline and the Chinese Embassy. Anything else I need to obtain?
Does it matter that my flight ticket from KL goes direct to Beijing, and then 2 days later my flight from Beijing goes direct to Houston TX? With all this proof, I will be allowed to leave the airport (for free), and then come back 2 days later to take my direct flight to USA?