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 Marshall from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 17, 2019 03:29Reply
Hong Kong to Tianjin then Tianjin to LHR 1 stop Hong Kong (72 hour Visa Free?)
Hi, i am flying to Hong Kong from London and will stay in Hong Kong for two days
I then fly to Tianjin for 2 days before flying back to London from Tianjin
My ticket to London includes a flight transfer in Hong Kong on the way back to London
Do i need a Visa or can i travel Visa Free based on my flight being Hong Kong (A) to Tianjin (B) and then Tianjin to London (C) with flight transfer (3 hour stop) at Hong Kong?
Answers (2)
Answered by Justin from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 17, 2019 19:10

Marshall, based on your information, your itinerary is London- Hong Kong - Tianjin- Hong Kong -London, right? If yes, your itinerary is not qualified for 144h visa exemption transit.
Answered by Marshall from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 17, 2019 23:49

Hi, my itinerary is three flights.
London to Hong Kong
2 day working visit in HK
Hong Kong to Tianjin
2 day working in Tianjin
Tianjin back hone to London
Hong Kong is a change of flight only, not leaving airport or actually entering Hong Kong
Do I need a visa?
Asked by yuteena from UNITED STATES | Jul. 15, 2019 11:43Reply
One week in Hong Kong with a day trip to Guangzhou to visit home village

We are flying from SFO to HK and HK back to SFO. While we are in Hong Kong, we would like to take a high speed bullet train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou and do a day-trip visit to my home village. Do we need Visas for this day trip? Please advise. Thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by Cindy from USA | Jul. 16, 2019 00:56

Yes, you need a visa, please apply for it in advance.
Asked by Hasmukh dayalji from USA | Jul. 02, 2019 11:43Reply
I hold USA passport I am traveling from Los Angeles to Shanghai on 25 July landing at 5 45 pm and
Lay over night next morning my flight on 27 at 11.35 Am to Shenzhen landing at 2.20 pm and continue connecting flight at 4 25pm to Thailand do need visa and what kind of visa please advise and cost and how to apply I am getting wrong information from consulate office thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Alice from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 03, 2019 00:29

Did you mistype the leaving date 26 July as 27 July? It's critical because your layover length determines you whether you need a visa. If the total time between your landing and departure is no more than 24 hours, you don't need it.
Asked by Elisabeta Necsa from ROMANIA | Jun. 25, 2019 11:30Reply
Viza 72 hours transit
Hello, I am a Romanian citizen, I have a flight to Tokyo from London with exchange in Shenzhen, waiting time in Shenzhen is 23 hours, as a Romanian citizen do I qualify for 24 hours or 72 hours transit visa in Shenzhen?
I was doing some reading and not all information is up to date about the Shenzhen airport, so I am not sure if Shenzhen airport allows 24 hours transit or 72 hours transit visa for Romanian citizens, I am thinking in case of any delays I would go for the 72 hours visa.
My return flight is after 10 day's Tokyo-Beijing-London, waiting time in Beijing is 8 hours, do I have any issues for the 24 hours visa transit in Beijing if I already had one entry in China within those 10 day's?

Kind regards
Answers (1)
Answered by Kris from CANADA | Jun. 25, 2019 23:51

You qualify for the 24h visa-free transit in both Shenzhen and Beijing.
Asked by Ben from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 02, 2019 02:33Reply
Please Help! Do I need to change my outward flight
Hello, I am attending a fair in Guangzhou for a day and a half next week, my flights are the following:

London (Saturday)> Hong Kong (1 hour connecting flight) > Guangzhou (sunday AM-Monday PM) > Hong Kong (1 hour connecting flight) > London (tues AM)

Am I applicable for the 72 hour visa free? Or do I need to change my returning flight? I've noticed there is another flight that goes Guangzhou > Russia > London, Should I book this one quickly to enable the Destination C is correct and the 72 hour visa free applies? Thank you, Ben
Answers (4)
Answered by Tom from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 03, 2019 01:17

Hi, you should change your returning flight that goes Guangzhou - Russia - London, and then you can enjoy 72h visa free transit in Guangzhou.
Answered by Ben from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 03, 2019 01:43

Thank you, is this 100% confirmed? Do I need to contact embassy?
Answered by Linda from USA | Jun. 03, 2019 02:54

Basically, that itinerary is OK. You can contact with the Embassy for sure.
Answered by Ben from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 03, 2019 04:22

Thank you both!!
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)