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Home China Travel Guide 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in China: A Complete Guide

144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in China: A Complete Guide

Now, China has been implementing two visa exemption transit policies in major tourist cities in order to make it more convenient for international travelers from 54 countries to set out a tour in China.

Transiters can take a 72-hour layover at Changsha, Harbin, and Guilin without a China visa, while there are a total of 20 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Xian, carrying out 144-hour visa-free transit policy that allows foreign travelers to stay in certain regions for up to 6 days.

Which Cities or Provinces in China Have Implemented 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit?

Cities Port of Entry Designated Areas for Visa-Free Stay Port of Exit

144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Beijing

Beijing Capital International Airport Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province Same as the entry port
Beijing Daxing International Airport
Beijing West Railway Station
Tianjin Tianjin Binhai International Airport
Tianjin International Cruise Home Port
Shijiazhuang(Hebei Province) Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport
Qinhuangdao(Hebei Province) Qinhuangdao Port
Shanghai Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport Shanghai, Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province Same as the entry port
Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai Railway Station
Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal
Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal
Nanjing(Jiangsu Province) Nanjing Lukou International Airport
Hangzhou(Zhejiang Province) Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
Ningbo(Zhejiang Province) Ningbo Lishe International Airport
Guangzhou(Guangdong Province) Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport Guangdong Province 5 aviation ports,4 railway ports,

8 road ports,

15 ferry ports

Shenzhen(Guangdong Province) Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
Jieyang(Guangdong Province) Jieyang Chaoshan International Airport
Shenyang(Liaoning Province) Shenyang Taoxian International Airport Liaoning Province Same as the entry port
Dalian(Liaoning Province) Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport
Qingdao(Shandong Province) Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport Shandong Province Same as the entry port
Qingdao International Cruise Home Port
Chongqing Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport Chongqing Same as the entry port
Chengdu(Sichuan Province) Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport Chengdu, Leshan, Deyang, Suining, Meishan, Ya’an, Ziyang, Neijiang, Zigong, Luzhou, Yibin Same as the entry port
Xi’an(Shaanxi Province)

144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Xi’an

Xi’an Xianyang International Airport Xi’an, Xianyang Same as the entry port
Xiamen(Fujian Province) Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport Xiamen Same as the entry port
Xiamen Wutong Ferry Terminal
Xiamen International Cruise Terminal
Wuhan(Hubei Province) Wuhan Tianhe International Airport Wuhan Same as the entry port
Kunming(Yunnan Province) Kunming Changshui International Airport Kunming Same as the entry port

Which Countries are Eligible for the 144-hour visa-free Transit in China?

Today, China’s 144-hour visa-free transit policy applies to citizens of the listed 54 countries below:

25 Schengen Agreement Countries Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Estonia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia
15 Other European Countries Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Ukraine, Belarus, Monaco, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania
6 American Countries the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina
6 Asian Countries Japan, Korea, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar
2 Oceania Countries Australia, New Zealand

What are the Requirements for 144-hour Visa-free Transit?

  1. Transits must come from the 54 designated countries mentioned above;
  2. Transits must hold valid passports or other international travel documents proving both identity and citizenship. The passport or travel documents should have at least three months remaining validity;
  3. Transits must hold connecting tickets with confirmed departure date and seat number to a 3rd country or region within 144 hours’ stop-over in mainland China.


① The next destination should be different from the country you come from.

② Hong Kong and Macau are categorized into the 3rd regions out of mainland China.

Examples of Transit Routes:

US – Beijing – Japan √

UK – Beijing – Tianjin – Japan √

France – Beijing – Shanghai – Malaysia ×

Australia – Shenzhen – Hong Kong √

Australia – Shenzhen – Australia ×

Denmark – Shanghai – Australia √

Russia – Shanghai – Suzhou – Hong Kong √

Germany – Shanghai – Guangzhou – Macau ×

  1. Transits must stay in designated areas during the layover. For example, if you enter China from Beijing Capital International Airport, you are not allowed to have a trip from Beijing to Xi’an or Shanghai but are able to extend your Beijing trip to Tianjin and Hebei.

Passengers’ application for 144-hour visa-free transit will be rejected when one of the following situations occurs:

  1. The validity period of the passport or other international travel documents is within three months;
  2. Those who have been refused a Chinese visa;
  3. Those who have records of illegal entry and exit, illegal residence, and illegal employment in China within 5 years.

How to Apply for a 144-hour Visa-free Transit in China?

1. Application Procedure:

  1. When boarding, inform the airline that you intend to apply for a 144-hour visa-free transit
  2. Fill an Arrival Card
  3. Upon arrival, apply for the 144-hour permit at the dedicated counter
  4. Claim the luggage and go through inspections at the customs
  5. Leave the airport for the area you are permitted to travel around.

2. Documents for Application

  1. Valid passport issued by 54 designated countries mentioned above.
  2. Visa for a 3rd country or region
  3. A fully completed Arrival Cardfor temporary entry
  4. An onward ticket to a 3rd country or region with a confirmed departure date and seat within 144 hours

How to Count the 144 hours after Entry

The 144-hour visa-free transit counts from 00:00 a.m. the next day after your entry. That is, you will actually be allowed to stay in designated areas longer than 144 hours without a Chinese visa.

For example, if you arrive at Xi’an Xianyang International Airport at 10:00 am on May 1st, 2024, the layover time starts at 0:00 on May 2nd, which means, you can stay in Xi’an and Xianyang for up to 158 hours and should leave before 24:00 on May 7th, 2024.

FAQs on Chinas 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy

Q: If I get permission for 144 hours’ visa-free transit but fails to depart within 144 hours due to some special reason, what should I do?

A: If you are unable to leave designated areas in time due to force majeure, you need to apply for a China travel visa at the local entry-exit administration section of public security bureau.

Q: If I arrive in mainland China with a single-entry flight ticket, but I plan to purchase a departure ticket after arrival, can I apply for the 144-hour visa-free transit?

A: The round-way international connecting flight ticket within 144 hours after arrival is a must for the application. Travelers with single-journey tickets will be refused.

Q: After I go through the application for 144-hour visa-free transit, will I get into trouble when checking in a downtown hotel without a China tourist visa?

A: If you are qualified to enjoy the 144-hour visa exemption transit policy, the customs will put a temporary entry permit sticker on your passport. You can check in at the hotel with the entry permit.

How to Spend the 144 hours Layover Time

The 20 cities implementing the 144-hour visa-free transit policy are all popular tourist destinations in China. The 6-day layover is a great chance to fully explore the essential attractions of each region. For example:

If you enter China from Beijing, the 144-hour transit trip will take you through time to admire magnificent imperial complexes, such as the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven. You can also gain a memorable hiking experience by visiting famous Great Wall sections, like Badaling and Mutianyu in Beijing, as well as Shanhaiguan and Laolongtou in Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province.

Best Beijing Tour Packages:

If you transit in Shanghai, iconic sights like the Bund, Huangpu River, and stylish skyscrapers will definitely impress you. You may consider taking a side trip to Hangzhou and Suzhou to enjoy the picturesque scenery of West Lake and the elegant classic gardens respectively.

Best Shanghai Tour Packages:

A transit trip to Xi’an offers you an exploration journey to the city’s past and is enough to cover celebrated historical landmarks, such as the “world’s eighth wonder” – Terracotta Warriors and Horses, 600-year-old City Wall, the symbolic Big Wild Goose Pagoda, as well as the Bell and Drum Towers in the city center.

Best Xian Tour Packages:

During the layover trip in Chengdu, it is recommended you seize the chance to meet the adorable giant pandas. If you are seeking for a memorable culinary trip, Chengdu is a superior alternative, where you can get yourself a real feast of hot and spicy Sichuan cuisines.

Best Chengdu Tour Packages:

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