China 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit 2023
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 53 countries can apply for a 72-hour visa-exempted transit in China’s qualifying cities:
- Americas (6 countries): United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile
- Asia (6 countries): South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar
- Europe (39 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, Monaco, Belarus
- Oceania (2 countries): Australia and New Zealand
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:
- The USA – Guilin – Thailand or USA – Guilin – Hong Kong – USA is fine;
- While USA – Guilin – USA, or USA – Guilin – Harbin – Hong Kong is not.
3. Restricted areas: Areas for 72-hour visa-free transit passengers allowed to stay are limited as below:
- Those transiting in Changsha can travel in the whole Hunan Province.
- Those transiting in Harbin and Guilin cannot leave the transit city.
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?
- Passport valid for at least three months from the date of entry
- An onward flight ticket to a third country/region with a confirmed date and seat
- Visa for a third country/region (if needed)
- Fully completed arrival and departure cards
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.
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:
- 1-Day Li River Cruise and Yangshuo Countryside Cycling
- 3-Day Classical Guilin Tour
- 3-Day Harbin Ice and Snow World Tour