144-Hour Visa Free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu (Transit Visa Online Application)

Written by Sally Guo Updated Mar. 11, 2024
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From December 1, 2023, until November 30, 2024, ordinary passport holders of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia can benefit from a 15-day visa-free entry to China Mainland.

From March 14, 2024, until November 30, 2024, ordinary passport holders of Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg can benefit from a 15-day visa-free entry to China Mainland.

This applies to purposes such as tourism, business, transit, and visiting friends and relatives in China.

Shanghai and the nearby provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang allow travelers from 54 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 more easily. 

Who Can Enjoy the 144-hour Visa-free Transit

54 countries are included in the policy:

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

Europe (40 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, Albania, Monaco, Belarus, Norway

Oceania (2 countries): Australia and New Zealand

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

The 8 Eligible Transit Ports for 144-hour Visa Exempt

In Shanghai, there are 5 ports where visa-free transit is permitted:

In Zhejiang Province, there are 2 ports where visa-free transit is permitted:

In Jiangsu Province, Nanjing Lukou International Airport is eligible for the 144-hour visa-free transit.

144-hour visa-free transit route

The Eligible Transit Routes for 144-hour Visa-free Travel

You must be in transit to a third country or region (Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are included among possible third regions).

For example, the USA to Shanghai to Taiwan is acceptable for a 144-hour transit visa in Shanghai, but the USA to Shanghai to the USA is not.

144-hour visa-free transit route

How to Apply for the 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai

The following are the six easy steps for you to apply for the 144 hours of visa-free transit in Shanghai.

1. Pre-register your entry information in advance through the "144-Hour Transit Visa Exemption Application E-System" and complete the information declaration.

2. Upon arrival at the Shanghai port, you can use the self-service machine to automatically print the Arrival Card.

3. Locate the dedicated lanes for 144-hour visa-exemption transit passengers within the entry inspection areas after arrival.

4. Present your valid passport, onward ticket to a third country or region, and completed arrival card. Inform the immigration officer about your intention to use the 144-hour visa-free transit. They will verify your eligibility and issue a temporary entry permit.

5. Claim your luggage and go through customs as normal.

6. Departure from a designated port before midnight on the sixth full day. There is nothing different from leaving China normally. Hand over your completed departure card at the security inspection.

144h visa free transit application
144h visa-free transit application

Shanghai 144-hour Visa-free Application Online

To double-check whether you are eligible for the visa-exemption transit policy or apply for visa-free transit in Shanghai, you can use the official online platform.

This E-application system is only for visitors who apply for 144-hour visa-exemption transit at ports of entry in Shanghai. 

Shanghai 144-hour Visa-free Transit Requirements

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

2. 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.

3. Areas allowed to stay: You can travel within Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang within 144 hours. The best travel cities in this area include Hangzhou, Suzhou, Shanghai, and Nanjing.

How to Calculate 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 start from 00:00 hrs immediately following the time of entry. Passengers can stay in Shanghai, Jiangsu Province, and Zhejiang Province without a Chinese visa for up to 144 hours from then.

For example, if you enter Shanghai at 6:00 am on June 1st, 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 stay longer than 144 (but still less than 168) hours, depending on arrival and departure times.

How to Make the Most of 144 Hours in Shanghai

Shanghai, along with the nearby provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, offers a fascinating blend of old and new. These regions boast well-preserved ancient relics and traditions, while also being some of the wealthiest areas in China. 

1. Discover the Best of Shanghai: A Perfect Blend of Old and New!

Shanghai is a city that seamlessly blends the old and new, East and West. Take a stroll along the Bund and marvel at the stunning European-style architecture while learning about the city's rich history.

For a breathtaking view of Shanghai's skyline, head to Lujiazui. To experience the charm of old Shanghai, visit Tianzifang or Chenghuangmiao Old Street and immerse yourself in the traditional atmosphere.

the Bund Shanghai

2. Take a side trip to Suzhou or Hangzhou

Suzhou and Hangzhou both are easily accessible by bullet train from Shanghai, with a travel time of just one hour.

Suzhou is famous for its ancient water towns, where you can experience the traditional lifestyle of old China. Stroll along the narrow lanes and immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere of these charming towns. 

West Lake in Hangzhou is worth a visit. Surrounded by mountains, the lake is considered one of the most beautiful places in China. In spring, the scenery is particularly breathtaking, when flowers around the lake are blooming.   

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:

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