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China Expands its 144 Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy to 5 Additional Cities


China currently offers some travelers a visa-free visit for 24, 72, or 144 hours. Starting from January 1, 2019, China now implements 144-hour visa-free transit policy in five more cities for travelers from 53 countries.

These 5 cities are Qingdao, a major port city in Shandong Province; Xiamen, a coastal city in Fujian Province; Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province; Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province; and Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

Under the 24-hour visa-free transit rule, no visa is required for international flight, ship, or train passengers who transit directly through mainland China and will stay for less than 24 hours. Passengers should hold tickets to a third country or region and have a confirmed seat. This visa exemption is available to all foreigners, and most ports of entry in China.

Under the 72-hour visa-free transit rule, passport holders of the following 51 countries and regions can be granted a visa-free stay up to 72 hours while transiting via Beijing Capital Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, and airports of Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenyang, Dalian, Harbin, Xian, Guilin, Kunming, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Tianjin, Qingdao, Nanjing, Changsha, and Xiamen:

24 Schengen Agreement Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

13 Other European Countries: Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania

6 American Countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile

2 Oceania Countries: Australia, New Zealand

6 Asian Countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar

Under the 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit rule, passengers from the above countries can enjoy a visa-free stay up to 144 hours. The 144-hour visa-free transit rule was first introduced to three cities in East China’s Shanghai-Jiangsu-Zhejiang area: Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Nanjing. Then it was expanded to North China’s Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region; Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Tianjin, and Qinhuangdao, as well as to South China’s Guangdong province, in the cities of Guangzhou, Jieyang, and Shenzhen. And starting from January 1, 2019, Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan, Chengdu, and Kunming are added to the eligible ports of entry.

Travelers planning on visiting China with a visa exemption are advised to confirm their eligibility with the relevant port of entry in China or their local Chinese embassy/consulate before departure. The nature of the traveler’s itinerary and other factors may influence eligibility to qualify for a visa exemption.



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