China 72-hour Visa

Air travelers holding the passport of 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 for regular China visa application process.

Nowadays, 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, or Qinhuangdao, where the 72-hour visa-free scheme has been extended to 144-hour visa-free transit, you may end up applying for the 144-hour free entry instead of the 72-hour visa.

Confirm your eligibility for 72-hour visa before departure

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

1. Check whether you hold a valid passport of the countries 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 also refer to Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. B is the transit city in China. Booking an onward ticket to country C with confirmed seat and date is a must.

 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 it counts from 00:00 of the day following your arrival, so actually you may stay a little longer than 72 hours.

3. Check your visa for the destination country if required

You should prepare a visa for the country you will immediately visit after the layover in China if you are supposed to get 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 may need to 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 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 needed to register your stay at the local police station within 24 hours after entry. Hotels can do this for you, but if you lodge at a friend’s or relative’s house, you need to visit the police station in person with his or her company.

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 this advantage to make 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 presents you with a fun experience. See some of the best visa-free tour packages.

- Last modified on Nov. 19, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on China 72-hour Visa
Asked by d.ayan from GB | Nov. 18, 2018 18:33Reply
iam planing to go japan and taiwan and from taiwan to macao. i read the information about 72 hrs&14
as i am having UK passport. will it be alright for me to fly from macau to nanjing and than after 3 days going to shanghai and 2 days stay and fly to London from shanghai I wanted to be double check, before i book my flight. i will be happy if you can inform me on this matter.
Answers (1)
Answered by Day from DENMARK | Nov. 19, 2018 19:53

You are eligible for the 144h twov in Nanjing and Shanghai in your trip. Don't worry.
Asked by Lorraine Glanz from SOUTH AFRICA | Nov. 11, 2018 04:41Reply
Are South African passport holders eligible for the 72 or 144 hour transit visa?
Hello. My husband and I are South African passport holders. We will be arriving in Shanghai by air on 31 January 2019 at 15h00.
We are booked on a cruise that departs Shanghai on 3 February 2019 at 17h00.
Are we eligible for the 72 or 144 hour free transit (we have pre-booked accommodation in Shanghai for 3 nights, and will not be leaving Shanghai during that period)?
Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Anthony from DENMARK | Nov. 11, 2018 22:55

No. You should apply for a visa for that trip beforehand.
Asked by joel from UNITED KINGDOM | Nov. 05, 2018 04:14Reply
transit vias multi city
im planning to fly into shanghai on transit visa is it then possible to fly to xian city for sight seeing and then back to shanghai to exit within the 72 hours?
Answers (1)
Answered by Day from GERMANY | Nov. 05, 2018 18:05

No.If you want to use that free transit in Shanghai, you cannot go to Xi'an for a trip.
Asked by Linda from HONG KONG | Nov. 01, 2018 19:03Reply
Would like to know if the 72 hours free transit can apply to our trip, we plan to go to Zhuhai via the HK Zhuhai Macau Bridge
Answers (1)
Answered by Enzo from GERMANY | Nov. 01, 2018 20:03

HK/Zhuhai/HK is not a transit, so you cannot use the 72h twov. You need a visa for that trip beforehand.
Asked by paul gersok from UK | Oct. 29, 2018 03:01Reply
visa. hi am arriving in shanghai
and will be there for 80 hours in transit before flying back to uk what do i do to confirm non requirement for visa
Answers (1)
Answered by Ryan from THAILAND | Oct. 29, 2018 19:59

If your last country or region before entering Shanghai is not UK, you can get the free transit, and no visa will be needed.
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