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72-Hour Visa-free Transit Policy

72 hours free visa transit in China

(1) Foreign visitors who hold valid international travel documents and confirmed interline tickets to a third country (region) with specified date and seat can apply for a visa-free transit stay in China for up to 72 hours. This policy is only applicable to foreign visitors who transit to a third country (region) through Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport or Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport.

(2) When did this policy take effect?

This policy took effect in Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport from January 1, 2013; in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport from August 1, 2013; in Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport from September 1, 2013. Foreign visitors may move freely in the arrival city during their visa-free transit stay in China.

(3) The 72-hour visa-free transit policy is applicable to passport holders from the following 45 countries:

A: the 24 countries from the Schengen Area;

B: 7 European countries: Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine;

C: 6 American countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile;

D: 2 Oceania countries : Australia, New Zealand;

E: 6 Asian countries: South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar.


1. Foreign visitors shall hold valid passports issued by the countries mentioned above.

2. 72 hours before departure foreign visitors shall have confirmed interline tickets with date and seats specifying the departure time and transit to a third country (region) through the airports mentioned above.

3. The destination of the flight must be a third country. For example, a 72-hour visa-free transit stay in China en route from the United States to Australia (the third country is Australia, not China) is allowed. However, a 72-hour visa-free transit stay is not permitted if travel is t a visa-free airport in China from the United States and then return to the United States without visiting a third country.

4. During the visa-free transit stay, foreign visitors may move freely in the city they land in, but may not leave the city to visit any other city in China.

5. The duration of the stay is calculated according to the issued transit permit, and not the landing time.

Foreign visitors must abide by the laws and regulations in China during their 72-hour stay and take good care of themselves.