72-hour Visa-free Transit Stay in China And Its Limits 

Till Dec 31st 2013: 72-hour Visa-free Transit Stay apply to Beijing, Chongqing, Dalian, Shanghai, Shenyang, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

From Jan 30th, 2016, China granted 144-hour visa-free transit at Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing.

From January 1, 2013, Beijing offers 72-hour visa-free transit for foreign visitors with third-country visas and transit at Beijing.

The measure of 72-hour Transit Visa Exemption for Foreign Nationals for citizens from 51 countries destined for a third country (region) with connecting flight tickets goes into force as of 1st August 2013 at the port of entry of the Baiyun Airport of Guangzhou. During the visa exemption period, the passenger is allowed to move around within the administration precincts of Guangdong province.

Foreign visitors, who hold passports issued by the countries on the 72-hour Visa-free Transit Policy List and stay in Beijing for transit for up to 72 hours, could apply for a visa-free transit stay in China at the immigration inspection authority at Beijing Capital International Airport.

List of Qualified Countries:

Passport holders of following 51 countries (updated on Dec 06 2013) and regions will be granted a visa-free stay of up to 72 hours while in transit via Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) & Hongqiao International Airport (SHA):

Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania.


Requirements for the visa-free transit:

  1. Holding passports issued by the above listed 51 countries,
  2. Holding valid international travel documents,
  3. Qualified for the entry requirements of their third destination country,
  4. Holding valid airline tickets with 72-hour validation and making transit through Beijing Capital International Airport to the third country, and Reported to Chinese immigration inspection authority by their airline companies.

Restrictions of the 72-hour Visa-free Transit:

  1. This regulation does not apply to passengers who travel on a return flight (e.g., USA - Beijing - USA), which means the destination and place of departure can not be in the same country.
  2. The 72-hour visa-free stay only applies to transit via Capital International Airport. Passengers by train or any other vehicles should still apply for a visa in advance.
  3. Visitors are not allowed to leave Beijing to other cities during the 72-hour visa-free period. They can only depart Beijing from Capital International Airport.
  4. If visitors are unable to depart on time due to unavoidable reasons, such as flight cancellation or treatment of sudden disease, they need to apply for a visa from Municipal Public Security Bureau (PSB). Otherwise.


How can a qualified foreigner apply for it?

A foreign national that meets the requirements may submit his/her request to the airline company that carries him/her and the airline company or the passenger him/herself shall make the application to the border control authorities that shall grant a temporary entry of a passenger meeting the requirements for transit visa exemption upon verification.


If I have more questions, how can I ask for an answer?

You may make an inquiry with the border control authorities of the ports of entry in Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou or leave a message under the column of Asking Questions to the Police on the website of the Ministry of Public Security. Contact phone of the Beijing General Station of Immigration Inspection: 010-56095400; Contact phone of the Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection: 021-51105100; Contact phone of the Guangzhou General Station of Immigration Inspection: 020-32090088; Contact phone of the Provincial Border Control Bureau of Sichuan Province: 028-86022116.


72-hour Visa-free Transit Stay in China And Its Limits


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