Chinese transit visas are used by travellers who are going to transit through China en route to a third country (or region). These visas are granted based on an onward air, train or ship ticket confirming the date and seat number to the destination country (or region). You must also have a valid visa (if required) to the destination country (or region) or be a resident there.
This visa allows for either one (single entry) or two (double entry) transits usually of up to 7 days if travelling by train or 10 days if travelling by air. It is issued with a 90-day validity “window” that starts from the date the Consulate grants you the visa and you should enter China before this validity “window” expires.
Please note that a Chinese transit visa is not required for UK applicants or those transiting within 24 hours as determined by scheduled flight arrival and departure times, provided you have documentary evidence of your onward flight arrangements. Multiple stops are allowed so long as they fall within the 24-hour period. If you want to leave the airport, you can apply for a special stopover permit.
72-hour visa-free transit
In addition to the 24-hour visa-free transit, China also grants a 72-hour visa-free transit for the nationals of 53 countries transiting via Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Guilin, Harbin, Kunming, Shanghai, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Tianjin, Qingdao, Nanjing, Changsha, Xiamen and Xi’an. Click here for more information. If you require a transit visa, please contact our visa team who will guide you through the visa application process.
144-hour visa-free transit
A 144-hour visa-free transit policy is also available in Guangdong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Liaoning, Chengdu, Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan, Kunming, Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei for selected states. This allows travellers from 53 countries or regions to transit in Guangdong province, Shanghai-Jiangsu-Zhejiang region, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Liaoning province or the Chinese cities of Chengdu, Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan and Kunming for no more than 144 hours (6 days) without holding a visa.
Important information about 144-hour visa-free travel in Beijing:
Only the West Railway Station in Beijing allows for 144-hour visa free transit, passengers taking international trains to / from Moscow, Ulaanbaatar, and North Korea do not qualify. However those taking trains to / from Hanoi and Hong Kong are eligible.