Visa-free transit in China 2020
Most recently, the Chinese government issued a new 144-hours (6 days) transit rule for everyone arriving through Guangdong international airports. Although it’s news for Guangdong province, some other Chinese provinces had this in effect for quite a while.
Which countries can use visa-free transit in China?
- 24 countries of the Schengen zone: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland;
- 15 other European countries: Russia, UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Belarus, Monaco;
- 8 countries in South and North America: USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand;
- 6 Asian and the Middle East countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar.
Which cities and provinces in China provide visa-free transit?
Foreigners travelling on an international flight to a third country, planning to stay in China for no more than 24 hours, can use 24-hour transit.
Notice!: You can not leave the airport.
72-hour transit and 144-hour transit in China
To get permission for 72-hour/144-hour visa-free transit, the following conditions must be met:
- To have citizenship of any of 53 countries included in the 72-hour/144-hour transit visa list;
- Have a valid passport and confirmed tickets to a third country, which are valid for the next 72-hour/144-hour;
- Transit at the airport that allows transit.
Which airports in China have a 72-hour visa-free transit?
72-hour visa-free transit airports:
Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, Xian Xianyang International Airport, Guilin Liangjiang International Airport, Kunming Changshui International Airport, Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport, Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, Harbin Taiping International Airport, International Airport Qingdao Liuting, Changsha Huanghua International Airport.
Citizens of 53 countries can apply for a 72-hour visa-free transit:
1. 39 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Monaco, Belarus.
2. 6 countries of South and North America: USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile.
3. Australia and New Zealand.
4. 6 countries of Asia and the Middle East: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar.
144-hour visa-free transit in China
Where does the 144-hour visa-free transit zone work?
Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Hongqiao, Shanghai Railway Station and Shanghai International Sea Port, Wusongkou Cruise Port, Nanjing, Hangzhou.
If you enter through any of these ports, you can stay in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces for 144 hours.
Beijing International Airport, Beijing West Railway Station, Tianjin International Airport, Tianjin Cruise Port, Shijiazhuang International Airport, transit through Qinhuangdao.
If you enter through any of these ports, you can stay in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province for 144 hours.
Shenyang and Dalian International Airport.
If you enter through any of these ports, you can stay in Liaoning for 144 hours.
Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chaoshan international airports, as well as border ports and international ferries and railway stations.
If you enter through any of these ports, you can stay in Guangdong for 144 hours.
Tour groups in Hainan
From May 1, 2018, citizens of 59 countries: Russia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Norway, Ukraine, Italy, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia , New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Indonesia Oia, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Monaco, Belarus, traveling to Hainan through travel agencies established in Hainan can stay on the island without a visa for 30 days.
What conditions must be met for visa-free transit in China?
Country A → B: (province) City/region of transit → Country C
A is the country from which passengers enter the transit region, and C is the third country or region. Before passengers enter the transit region and after passengers leave the transit region, they cannot stay anywhere in mainland China. For example, if a passenger leaves the UK for Guangzhou with a stop in Shanghai, they cannot use the 144-hour visa-free regime.
What documents are needed for visa-free transit in China?
- Passport valid for 3 months from the date of entry;
- Confirmed ticket (plane, train or ferry) to another country;
- Visa for a third country (if needed);
- Completed Arrival / Departure Card (full name as in passport, citizenship, passport and visa number, place of issue of, flight number, the purpose of the trip, date of birth and gender).
Visa-free transit procedure in China
Upon arrival, please give your travel documents to the airport staff standing right beside the queue management system machine for a preliminary check, then get a numbered ticket and move on to fill out a card;
Fill out a transit visa application form and wait for your turn;
Give your passport, Arrival Card e-ticket to the officer in the window. Immigration officers are obliged to ask clarifying questions to ensure that you are eligible for a 144-hour transit visa. If the check is successful, the immigration officer will print out the permit and stick it in your document;
Please go through the Immigration Inspection Counter and proceed to the Arrival Hall for entry procedures.
Can I buy a ticket to a third country after entering China and obtaining a visa-free transit permit?
No. According to the regulation, a 72-hour transit form must be submitted together with tickets to a third country with a confirmed date and place. A ticket must be purchased before departure from country A.
How much time does it take to get visa-free transit in China?
About 10 minutes in a rush-hour.
When does 144-hours visa-free transit start?
After confirming your eligibility for visa-free transit, you will be given a temporary residence permit. The visa-free period starts at 00:00 the next day and lasts for the next 144 hours (6 days).
Under what circumstances can office refuse temporary stay for transit to China?
In any of the following circumstances met, when passing the migration control, foreigners will not be granted a temporary residence permit:
- Circumstances in which entry is not allowed in accordance with laws or administrative regulations;
- Valid period of passport or other international document is less than three months, or there is a previous rejection stamp from China's visa-issuing authorities;
- Have a record of illegal entry into or exit from China, illegal residence or illegal employment in the past five years;
- Have violated regulations on accommodation registration under serious circumstances over the past two years.
Keep in mind:
- During the period of visa-free transit, foreigners must abide by the laws and regulations of China and remain in the specified area of stay.
- Hotels in China, in which foreigners live, are required to register them.
- Foreigners who do not live in hotels must, within 24 hours after arrival, go through the registration procedure at the public security bureau or at the foreign service centres at local police stations near the place of residence.
- If due to circumstances of insuperable force, foreigners should stay in China for more than 144 hours, they have to immediately notify the Public Security Bureau and apply for appropriate residence permits.
- Foreigners who left the permitted area of stay or could not leave it within the permit period, and did not register at the place of residence, will be punished by the border control authorities or the local Public Security Bureau in accordance with the law of the PRC.