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Visa-Free Transit in China for Up to 144 Hours

Last updated by elysees at 9/7/2016; Destinations: Shanghai

Since January 30, 2016, Shanghai and some cities nearby allows travelers from 51 countries to stay in certain cities for up to 144 hours (6 days) without applying for a Chinese travel visa to experience local culture and life.  You can enjoy a journey in China easier. China Travel has listed here the most important information you may need for planning a short trip to China.

Countries Included in the Policy

Americas (6 countries): United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile

Europe (37 countries): Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Albania

Oceania (2 countries): Australia and New Zealand

Asia (6 countries): South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar

Ports of Entry Involved

Shanghai: Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai Railway Station

Jiangsu: Nanjing Lukou International Airport

Zhejiang: Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport

Meeting the Qualifying Criteria

You must be in transit to a third country or region (Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are included among possible third regions). For example, USA–Shanghai–Taiwan is acceptable for a 144-hour transit visa in Shanghai, but USA–Shanghai–USA is not.

Your transit time is no more than 144 hours (from the first 00:00 hrs after you enter).

You enter and leave from one of the eligible ports of entry. Your arrival port and departure port can be different. For example, you can arrive in Shanghai and leave from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.

You can travel around Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang within 144 hours but you are not permitted to go to other provincial level areas in China.

Calculating the 144 Hours

On arrival at one of the entry points, eligible foreign passengers will be issued a temporary entry permit by immigration officials. The 144 hours starts from 00:00 hrs immediately following the time of entry. Passengers can stay in Shanghai Municipality, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province without a Chinese visa for up to 144 hours from then.

For example, if you enter Shanghai at 6am on June 1st, 2016, your permissible stay period starts counting down from 00:00 on June 2nd and you can stay until 23:59 on June 7th. So you may actually stay longer than 144 (but still less than 168) hours, depending on arrival and departure times.

Documents Necessary for 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit

Valid international travel documents (including passport) and onward air/boat/train tickets to a third country (region), with confirmed date and seat within 144 hours of the first 00:00 hrs after arrival.

Visa for a third country/region (if needed)

Arrival and departure cards (completely filled in)

Possible Arrival Points in Shanghai

Shanghai Pudong International Airport: About 47 km (31 miles) from the city center. Buses, metros and taxis are all available and convenient.

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport: About 13 km (10 miles) from the city center. Buses, metros and taxis are available and convenient.

Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal: Very close to the city center, near the Bund.  

Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal: About 40 km (26 miles) from the city center. Taxis are available.

Shanghai Railway Station: In the city center. Buses, metros and taxis are all available and convenient.

Take a Visa-Free Transit Tour with China Travel

We can help you to create a 144-hour visa-free tour to make the best of your time and meet your interests.

Here are two tours we recommend for your inspiration:

5-Day Shanghai and Suzhou Highlights - visiting traditional Shanghai and classic Chinese garden. 

2 Days Hangzhou Tour from Shanghai - taking high speed train to picturesque Hangzhou.