Visa Exemption

Visa Exemption


*Rules are subjected to change by the Chinese consulate and government at any time without prior notice
*Following information are available on Chinese Immigration and Custom website.
*While Chinese Visa Office provide the best available information on governmental website and it does
not guarantee the following information is 100% accurate due to governmental regulations and changes
without notice.

A foreign citizen can enter China without a visa under any one of the following circumstances:

1). Direct Transit

A foreign citizen who is transiting through China by air is exempted from a visa if he/she will stay only in the airport for no more than 24 hours and has a valid connecting ticket with confirmed seating on an international flight. You cannot exit China Custom and visit cities, you must stay within the airport security.

2) Transit Visa (China 144 Hour-Free-Transit-Visa/ also know as visa upon arrival through China to a 3rd country)

The following citizens from 53 countries can stay in Shanghai Municipality, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province, Beijing Municipality, Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province, and certain ports in Liaoning Province up to 144 hours with transit visa through China.

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 and Herzegovina, Republic of Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Monaco, Belarus, United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

This means you are going through China to a 3rd country and do not hold a return ticket back to the origin country

√   144 hr transit visa – NEW YORK – BEIJING – PARIS  (LAYOVER IN BEIJING FOR 48 HOURS)

√ 144 hr transit visa – LA – SHANGHAI- THAILAND (LAYOVER IN SHANGHAI FOR 122 HOURS)

√ 144 hr transit visa – LA – BEIJING- TIANJIN PORT FOR CRUISE (LAYOVER IN BEIJING FOR 122 HOURS)

Note: Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei are all one visa-free area and passengers can move freely within

√  144 hr transit visa – SINGAPORE – SHANGHAI- HANGZHOU- MALAYSIA

Note: Shanghai and Hangzhou (provincial capital of Zhejiang) are within one visa-free area.

√  144 hr transit visa – US – SHANGHAI – HONG KONG

Note: Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan can be a third transit country however, you need a confirm plane ticket. 

X   NOT TRANSITING- NEW YORK – BEIJING – NEW YORK ( THIS IS NOT OK)

X  NOT TRANSITING – NEW YORK- BEIJING – HOUSTON ( THIS IS NOT OK)   

X NOT TRANSITING – NEW YORK – BEIJING – SHANGHAI -THAILAND (THIS IS NOT OK)

Also though Beijing and Shanghai are both transiting airports, you can only transit through one.

Citizens with passport or other international travel document, confirmed interline ticket and valid visa to the third country or region (if required) of the following 53 countries , can apply to stay without visa for 144 hours in Beijing on direct transit via Beijing Capital Airport, in Shanghai on direct transit via Shanghai Pudong Airport and Hongqiao Airport, in Guangdong Province on direct transit via Guangzhou Baiyun airport, or in Chengdu on direct transit via Chengdu Shuangliu Airport

Sanctioned by the State Council, Shanghai Municipality, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province, Beijing Municipality, Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province, and certain ports in Liaoning Province are to adopt the 144-hour visa-exemption transit policy available to nationals from 53 countries.·         An eligible passenger can transfer via any of the following ports of entry including Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai Railway Station, Nanjing Lukou International Airport and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, and stay within the administrative precincts of Shanghai Municipality, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province for 144 hours.

·         An eligible passenger can transfer via any of the following ports of entry including Beijing Capital International Airport, Tianjing Binhai International Airport, Tianjin International Cruise Home Port, Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport and Qinhuangdao Sea Port, and stay within the administrative precincts of Beijing Municipality, Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province for 144 hours.

·         An eligible passenger can transfer via any of the following ports of entry including Shenyang Taoxian International Airport and Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport, and stay within the administrative precincts of Liaoning Province for 144 hours.

·         An applicant for 144-hour visa-exemption transit needs to possess a valid passport or other valid international travel documents and an onward air / vessel / train ticket to a third country (region) with confirmed date and seat within 144 hours upon arrival, fill out an arrival card for temporary entry foreigners, and be interviewed by the immigration inspection authority.

If you wish to know more about what happens when you arrive and how to apply for the transit visa at the airport, please click here to see our 144 hour-visa guide for U.S. citizens

2) Visiting the Pearl River Delta or Hainan Island

  • A foreign citizen holding an ordinary passport issued by any country with diplomatic relations with China is exempted from a visa if he or she is already in Hong Kong or Macao and joins a tourist group organized by a travel agency, which is registered in Hong Kong or Macao, for a visit to the Pearl River Delta region (including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing and Huizhou ) and his/her stay is no more than 6 days.
  • A foreign citizen holding an ordinary passport issued by any of the following countries is exempted from a visa if he or she joins a tourist group(of 5 or more persons)organized by an international travel agency registered in Hainan with the approval of China National Tourism Administration to visit Hainan Province and his/her stay is no more than 15 days: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the U.K., Ukraine and the U.S. Citizens of Germany, Republic of Korea and Russia may join an international tourist group (of 2 or more persons) and can stay up to 21 days

3) Citizens of Singapore, Brunei and Japan


A citizen of Singapore, Brunei or Japan with an ordinary passport is exempted from a visa if he/she visits China’s mainland for tourism purpose, business, or meeting with friends or relatives, enters China through ports open to foreigners, and stays for no more than 15 days.

However, a visa is required for citizens of these three countries under any of the following circumstances:

  • An ordinary passport holder visits China for tourism purpose, business, or meeting with friends or relatives, and stays for more than 15 days.
  • An ordinary passport holder visits China for study, work, permanent residency, official visits and news
  • A Japanese citizen travels with a diplomatic or official passport.

4) Holders of Valid APEC Business Travel Card

The APEC Business Travel Card is a substitute of a multiple-entry visa valid for 3 years.A card holder who presents a valid passport of the same person at the same time can enter China multiple times during the validity of the card for a stay of no more than 2 months each time.

5) Foreigner’s Permanent Residence Card Holders

Holders of Residence Permit for Foreigners issued by the Ministry of Public Security
Foreign citizens entering China for study or employment or as resident foreign journalists must apply for a residence permit at local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China. Permit holders may stay in China and enter or exit China multiple times without the need of a visa during the validity period of the permit.