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China 72 Hour Visa Free Policy

The new 72-hour visa free stay policy which will be effected since Jan 1st 2013 allow people who need to transit in China a more convenient way to have a short exploration of specified cities. This policy amis to stimulate the tourism of China and also would like to build a more strong bridge between China and the rest of the world.

Present 72-hour Visa-free Policy Cities

There are now three cities or ports that can handle 72-hour visa-free transit, as most ports that previously offered visa-free entry now offer 144-hour transit visa exemption.

Scope of visa-free stay
Guilin Visa Free Guilin Liang Jiang International Airport Guilin
Harbin Visa Free Harbin Taiping International Airport Harbin
Changsha Visa Free Huanghua International Airport Hunan Province

Visa Free Policy FAQs:

1. Who can apply for a 72-hour visa-free stay in?

Transit travelers from 54 eligible countries

►Valid international travel documents (e.g., passport valid at least for 3 months)
►Connecting tickets to third country or region with confirmed dates and seats within 72hours
►Fill out the form “Arrival/Departure Card” in advance

2. Things must knows:

► You must have the confirmed airport leaving ticket before arrival, or you will be rejected to apply the visa-free right
► The 72-hours visa free time is valid since you finish the visa-free procedure but not the arriving time of your plane to above cities
► One visa-free permit only valid in one city, that means Beijing visa-free permit could ensure a visa-free policy in Beijing only, no applied in rest places in China

China Visa Free

3. Where can I get the transit stay permits?

You need to register at the police station with your visas within 24 hours of your arrival at the authorized airports, the only entry-exit applicable for the policy. And the 72 hours will be calculated starting from the moment you get the transit stay permit.

4. How to apply this stay permit?

When you are citizens in one of the above mentioned countries, you could ask for help from the staff of your international airline which transit in Beijing or Shanghai. The staff will help handle this application by reporting to related airport immigration control departments in Beijing or Shanghai. After checking about your situation, they will inform you whether you apply successful or not timely.

5. The cities you can stay during this 72 hours

Only authorized cities are legal for you to walk around during this 72 hours, or you will be regarded as illegal immigration if you beyond the cities.

Another thing should be attention is you only can stay only one of the authorized cities. That means if your international flight arrival Beijing, you should hold Beijing leaving ticket. If arrival Shanghai, Shanghai leaving ticket only.
China Visa Free

6. Could I hold round air ticket to apply this permit?

No, round air ticket is rejected to apply this permit. Only ticket to the third country can apply this permit.

See following:
(×) Air ticket: from New York (US) - transit in Beijing - to L.A. (US), no 72 visa free permit for you.
(√) Air ticket: from New York (US) - transit in Beijing - to Tokyo (Japan), 72 visa free policy for you.

7. Could I take train to Beijing or Shanghai and then leaving by flight?

No, this policy is only effect in authorized airports only.

8. Countries can enjoy this policy in authorized cities in China

As of April 2024, 54 countries citizens can enjoy this transit visa-free stay right including
Continent Coutires
EU (26 countries)
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Croatia, Switzerland, Norway
Europe (14 countries)
Russia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Monaco, Belarus
America (6 countries)
the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile
Oceania (2 countries)
Australia, New Zealand
Asia (6 countries)
South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the united Arab emirates, Qatar

Aiming to meet this new policy, Top China Travel prepare some flexible 2 or 3 days city tours in above cities, more visa-free tours can be see in China Visa Free Tours.