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Christmas and New Year Holidays

Christmas and New Year Holidays are coming soon, which means there might be disruptions to our usual services during this period. Please check the opening hours of our offices and Consulates here to make sure you can get visas in time for your travel.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us at visas@realrussia.co.uk or via phone on +44(0)207 100 7370 and we will be happy to help.

Chinese Transit Visa

Governed by the regulations of the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, foreign nationals of 51 countries travelling by air to the third country via Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Guanghzou, Guilin, Kunming, Shanghai, Shenyang and Xi’an are entitled to enter the People’s Republic of China without having to obtain their visas in advance, and are allowed to remain on the territory of these cities for up to 72 hours of their arrival. In addition the 144-hour visa-free transit program has been implemented in Jiangsu, Hangzhou and Shanghai since 30th January 2016.

List of Countries

The 72 hour visa-free transit policy applies to passport holders of the following countries:

  1. Albania
  2. Argentina
  3. Australia
  4. Austria
  5. Belgium
  6. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  7. Brazil
  8. Brunei
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Canada
  1. Chile
  2. Croatia
  3. Cyprus
  4. Czech Republic
  5. Denmark
  6. Estonia
  7. Finland
  8. France
  9. Germany
  10. Greece
  1. Hungary
  2. Iceland
  3. Ireland
  4. Italy
  5. Japan
  6. Latvia
  7. Lithuania
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Macedonia
  10. Malta
  11. Mexico
  1. Netherlands
  2. New Zealand
  3. Poland
  4. Portugal
  5. Qatar
  6. Republic of Montenegro
  7. Romania
  8. Russia
  9. Serbia
  10. Singapore
  1. Slovakia
  2. Slovenia
  3. South Korea
  4. Spain
  5. Sweden
  6. Switzerland
  7. Ukraine
  8. United Arab Emirates
  9. United Kingdom
  10. Unites States of America

72-hour Visa-Free Requirements

This policy only applies to foreign nationals who meet all following requirements:

  • Hold a valid passport issued by one of the above-mentioned countries.

  • Have a valid visa for the onward/ third country (if required).

  • Have booked an onward flight to the third country with a confirmed seat showing that they will leave China within 72 hours of their arrival. The flight must be purchased before they enter China. Please note that Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are regarded as international destinations and not considered to be a part of China.

  • When transiting to a third country they are passing through Beijing Capital International Airport, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Guilin Liangjiang International Airport, Kunming Changshui International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Shenyang Taoxian International Airport or Xi'an Xianyang International Airport . Please note that the destination and start point cannot be the same. (e.g. London – Beijing – London).

  • 72-hour visa-free transit policy does not apply to passengers who are travelling by train, ship or other transportation.

Once landed, the visitors have to obtain a visa-free transit stay permit at an exit-entry frontier inspection organisation (immigration inspection) at the relevant airport.

144-hour Visa-Free Requirements

This policy only applies to foreign nationals who meet all following requirements:

  • Hold a valid passport issued by one of the above-mentioned countries.
  • Have a valid visa for the onward/ third country (if required).
  • Have booked an onward ticket to the third country with a confirmed seat and date showing that they will leave China within 144 hours of their arrival. The ticket must be purchased before they enter China. Please note that Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are regarded as international destinations and not considered to be a part of China.
  • When transiting to a third country they are passing through Nanjing Lukou Airport of Jiangsu, Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport of Zhejiang and all air, sea and railway ports of Shanghai, including Pudong Airport, Hongqiao Airport, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, Wusong Passenger Transport Center and all railway stations in Shanghai.
  • Passengers are required to enter and leave from the eligible transit ports only.

Important

  • The 72 hours will be counted from the time when the transit permit is granted, not from the time when the flight landed at the airport.

  • Unless staying in a hotel, tourists have to register their transit permit at a police station within 24 hours.

  • The 144-hour free stay period does not start until 00:00 of the day following passenger’s arrival.

Rules

Travellers must notify their airline companies/carrier about their travel plans before they arrive. The airline companies/carrier then report the visitors to the Chinese Frontier Inspection Organisation to ensure that they can go through the immigration formalities successfully.

During the 72-hour period, travellers are not allowed to leave the city where they got their visa-free transit stay permit. Consequently, they have to depart from the same airport as they arrived (for example, if they arrived to Beijing they cannot leave from Shanghai even if Shanghai has the same policy).

During the 144-hour period, the foreign visitors can travel within the administrative regions of Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, but cannot leave for other cities.

Passengers must carry their valid passports and certificates during their stay in China.

Exceptional Situations

  • Due to force majeure, tourists, who need to leave Beijing/ Chengdu/ Chongqing/ Dalian/ Guanghzou/ Guilin/ Kunming/ Shanghai/ Shenyang/ Xi’an, must apply for visas at the local Public Security Bureau.

  • Visitors who do not exit China after 72 hours from their arrival due to unavoidable reasons, such as treatment of sudden disease or flight cancellation, must apply for visas at the Public security bureau. Otherwise, they cannot apply for an extension of stay in China.

Currently Beijing, Chengdu, Guanghzou and Shanghai airports have already optimized the transit formalities with Customs, the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau and Frontier Inspection Station. The airport terminals have installed free-visa stay tourist exclusive service areas for offering foreign currency exchange, mobile phone or car rental, luggage deposit and other services for free-visa stay travellers.