China visa-free transit or China transit visa waiver is a good opportunity to see China without the hassle of applying for a full visa. But the problem is finding accurate, reliable and up-to-date information on how to gain visa-free transit to China and who is eligible for the transit visa in China. So to help tourists wishing to visit China by taking advantage of the transit visa waiver or the official name Temporary Entry Permit, we made a summary of all information from government webpages and put them together here.
For vistors visiting Hainan Island only, please refer to Hainan 30-day visa waiver policy for 59 countries.
Based in Hainan China as a local tour operator and agency, we have put all information into one page: complete and clear.
Steps to gain a China 72- & 144 Hour Transit Visa Free:
Step 1: Check Your Eligibility
Passengers travelling with passports from the following countries are eligible for China Transit Visa Waiver:
- European 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, Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Belarus, Monaco.
- American countries: United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile.
- Asian countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar.
- Oceania countries: New Zealand and Australia.
Step 2: Book right international flights
China Transit Visa is for international passengers to transit in China. So to get your China Transit visa, you should arrive China from one country (your home country or any other country) and depart for another country (must be different from your arrival country). So you can’t book flight to China from US, and depart from China to US. But Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are counted as different country/region in this case.
Example of right internationa connecting or transit flights:
London to Beijing, then Beijing to Hong Kong;
New York to Shanghai, then Shanghai to Singapore
Paris to Nanjing, then Nanjing to Tokyo
Macau to Guangzhou, then Guangzhou to Hong Kong if you are in Macau and wish to visit Guangdong Province
Hong Kong to Shanghai, then Shanghai to Taipei if you are in Hong Kong and wish to visit Shanghai
London to Beijing Airport , Beijing to Shanghai by train or flight, Shanghai to Singapore (Reason: Shanghai & Beijing are not in the same area of stay, tourists can only stay in one area)
London to Shanghai, then Shanghai to London (Not transit flight, but round trip)
New York to Guangzhou, then Guangzhou to Washington (Not transit flight, but round trip as you have to fly into another country, same country is not allowed)
Tokyo to Shanghai, then train to Beijing, then fly back from Beijing to Shanghai, then fly to Hong Kong from Shanghai (tourists can only in one area)
For area of stay, please refer to step 4.
So now, you should realize that right flights are key points for China Temporary Entry Permit.
Step 3: What documents to apply
Passport (Must be valid for more than 6 months)
Your return flight (Confirmed flight to another country different from your arrival country or region, please print out your bookings)
Arrival Card (which you get on your arrival flight or arrival airport)
Step 4: Where to apply China Transit Visa , how long the visa is valid and where I can go with this visa:
To make it clear, we made this form:
|Entry & Departure Ports||Validity||Area of Stay
|Beijing Capital Airport, Tianjin Binhai Airport, Shijiazhuang Airport, Qinghuangdao Airport, Tianjin Cruise Terminal, Beijing West Train Station||144 hours||Beijing, Tianjin & Hebei Province|
|Shanghai Pudong Airport, Hongqiao Airport, Hongqiao Train Station, Shanghai Cruise Terminal, Nanjing Airport, Hangzhou Airport, Ningbo Airport||144 hours||Shanghai、Jiangsu Province & Zhejiang Province|
|Shenyang Airport, Dalian Airport||144 hours||Liaoning Province|
|Xiamen Airport||144 hours||Xiamen|
|Guangzhou baiyun airport, Shenzhen Airport and Jieyang Airport||144 hours||Guangdong including Guangzhou、Shenzhen、Dongguan、Zhongshan、Foshan、Shantou|
|Wuhan Airport||144 hours||Hubei Province|
|Kunming Airport||144 hours||Yunnan Province including Kunming, Lijiang, Dali, Xishuangbanna|
|Qingdao Airport||144 hours||Shandong Province including Qingdao, Jinan, Yantan|
|Chongqing Airport||144 hours||Chongqing|
|Harbin Airport||72 hours||Harbin|
|Changsha Airport||72 hours||Hunan Province including Changsha, Zhangjiangjie|
|Guilin Airport||72 hours||Guilin|
|Xi‘an Airport||144 Hours||Xi’an & Xianyang|
|Chengdu Airport||144 Hours||Chengdu, Leshan、Deyang、Suning、Meishan、Ya’an、Ziyang、Neijing、Zigong、Luzhou & Yibin|
144 hours clock begins at midnight the day after you arrive in China. That means that if your plane arrives at 10am on Wednesday, your 144-hour transit visa clock begins at midnight on Thursday morning and you can stay until Tuesday 12 midnight, so total 6 days in China with your 144 hours transit visa.
With 72 hours, if your plane arrives at 10am on Wednesday, your 72 hour transit visa clock begins at midnight on Thursday morning and you can stay until Saturday 12 midnight, for 3 days in China with your transit visa waiver.
Places to visit:
You can’t travel as you like in China, there are certain areas to move around for certain ports. That means if you arrive from Beijing Airport, you can’t travel to Shanghai.
Step 5: How to apply upon arrival at Airport:
After arrival at Airport together with other passengers who already have their visa ready, you will find signs on walls or floors for China Temporary Entry Permit Application where you will fill up a form and present your documents. From the following card, you should know what information to prepare:
then in about 5-10 minutes, you will get your Temporary Entry Permit which is also called China Transit Visa. The permit looks like this with your entry port and validity.
So with the above information, we believe you have got all details about China Transit Visa or Temporary Entry Permit as per the government sources.
Most Frequently asked Questions
How much does it cost to apply?
It is free, no cost involved
Can I apply in advance somewhere or on-line?
So far, we don’t have any information on this
Can I arrive in Beijing & leave from Shanghai?
No, passengers are allowed to move around in certain areas. So you can only arrive and leave from the same area where you are allowed to move around. For example, you can arrive from Beijing Airport and leave from Tanjin Airport as Beijing and Tianjin are in the same area, but you can’t leave from Shanghai, as Shanghai is not the same area as Beijing.
Can I use a China Transit Visa multiple times within a year?
Yes, you can! I have confirmation from multiple travelers who have taken advantage of visa-free transit multiple times in a year.
If you are not sure on your selected internationa flights, please leave us a message here or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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