China's 144-hour visa-free transit policy applies to international travellers transiting in Guangdong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Liaoning, Chengdu, Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan, Kunming, Tianjin, Hebei and Beijing*. It allows passengers from 53 countries or regions to transit for no more than 144 hours (6 days) without holding a visa.
*Only the West Railway Station in Beijing allows for 144h visa-free transit, therefore passengers taking international trains to / from Moscow, Ulaanbaatar, and North Korea are not eligible. Passengers taking trains to / from Hanoi and Hong Kong are still eligible.
List of countries that qualify for 144-hour visa exemption:
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 (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, Monaco, United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Routes eligible for 144-hour visa exemption
The international flights flying in and out of China – from A through B to C – should be non-stop, without a stopover anywhere in Mainland China.
UK – Guangzhou – Shanghai - Hong Kong.
US – Beijing – Shanghai – France.
US – Dalian - South Korea
Singapore – Shanghai – Hangzhou – Malaysia
A - Refers to international airlines landing in mainland China.
B - Refers to only one of the following areas in China, and you cannot have a cross-area visa-free tour among them:
- Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang.
- Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei.
C - Refers to international airlines departing from mainland China.
Can I apply for a 144-hour visa-free entry permit on arrival in China?
Upon arrival, you can find the 144-hour visa-free counter at the immigration inspection. Here you can apply for the entry permit, which will be stamped on your passport indicating the allowed stay time. Remember to tell the officer if you have a visa for China but don't want to use it this time. We have included a step-by-step guide on how to apply and use your entry permit:
- Inform the carrier when boarding that you require a visa-free entry permit.
- Fill an arrival / departure card.
- Apply for the 144-hour visa-free stay permit upon arrival.
- Claim the luggage.
- Go through Customs.
- Leave the airport.
What documents are required to apply for a Chinese 144-hour visa-free entry permit?
- A passport valid for at least 3 months from the date of entry.
- Visa for a third country / region (if applicable).
- A full, completed arrival / departure card.
- An onward travel ticket with confirmed seat number.
How to calculate the layover time of 144-hour visa-free permits
the 144-hour visa-free permit counts from 00:00am on the day following the passengers' arrival.
For example, if a passenger arrives at 6:00am on 1st July, the layover time counts from 00:00am of 2nd July, and the passenger should hold a ticket with the scheduled departure time before 23:59pm on 7th July.