China 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit

Written by Sally Guo Updated Feb. 28, 2024

China's 72-hour Visa-Free Transit policy offers a convenient opportunity for travelers to explore the country during a layover without a visa for 72 hours (3 days).

This article aims to provide a comprehensive and user-friendly guide to understanding and making the most of this transit option. Whether you have a short stopover or want to experience a taste of China, here's everything you need to know.

Who Are Qualified for the 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit?

Passport holders from 54 countries can apply for a 72-hour visa-exempted transit in China’s qualifying cities:

Which Cities Offer 72-Hour TWOV?

Guilin, Harbin, and Changsha offer a 72-hour visa-free policy for nationals from 53 countries.

Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi'an/Xianyang, Xiamen, Wuhan, Qingdao, Shenyang, Dalian, Kunming, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Jieyang – extended to 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit.

China 72-hour Visa-free Transit Requirements

1. Qualifying ports: You must enter and leave from an eligible port by flight: Guilin Liangjiang International Airport, Harbin Taiping International Airport, and Changsha Huanghua International Airport.

2. Eligible transit routes: You must be in transit to a third country/region with a confirmed onward ticket and have no second stopover in China Mainland. Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are regarded as a third region on this occasion. For example:

72 hours visa free transit route
72 hours visa-free transit routes

3. Restricted areas: Areas for 72-hour visa-free transit passengers allowed to stay are limited as below:

How to Calculate the 72 hours?

The 72 hours starts from 00:00 hrs immediately following the time of entry.

For example, if you enter Guilin at 6:00 am on April 1st, your permissible stay starts from 00:00 on April 2nd and you can stay until 23:59 on the 4th. In this case, you may actually stay longer than 72 (but still less than 96) hours, depending on arrival and departure times.

What Documents Are Required?

72-Hour Visa-Free Transit in 4 Steps

1. Inform your airline at check-in that you intend to transit without a visa in China and collect your onward ticket.

2. Fill in the arrival and departure cards (can be done on flights)

3. After arrival, find the dedicated counter/lane and apply for the 72-hour visa-free transit. If approved, your passport will get a stay permit stamp or sticker showing your permitted duration of stay.

72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Counter
72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Counter

4. Claim your luggage, go through customs, and leave the airport as normal.

Recommended Tours for Transit Passengers

China Travel is a travel agency with a team of expert travel advisors. We want to help you create a carefree tour that will meet your schedules and desires and maximize your visa-free layover in China. Please feel free to share your tour needs with us or just directly book a recommended trip:

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