Visiting China got a whole lot easier with the introduction of a 72 hour transit visa which is now rolled out across 14 participating cities for visitors from 51 different nations.
Spending a long weekend in China is now a possibility for many visitors travelling through China. This visa is perfect for those travelling to Hong Kong, Macau, or onwards to other international locations.
If you are from the following list of countries you can get a 72-hour visa for transit through the region:
European/Schengen 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 & Switzerland
Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania
American Countries: The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina & Chile
Oceaniac Countries: Australia & New Zealand
Asian Countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates & Qatar
Travel onwards out of China
Some things to note about the requirements:
- You must be travelling onwards out of China afterwards (Hong Kong & Macau count for visa purposes.)
- You must leave by the same airport you arrived.
The 72 hour transit visa can be used when arriving in the following locations: Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Harbin, Kunming, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenyang, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xiamen and Xian.
Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Guangdong have implemented a 144 hour transit visa, giving you even longer to explore these locations.
Other Things to Note
This visa option opens up many Chinese destinations for layovers. Chinese airlines are capitalising on this and there are some excellent deals to be found for global travel through China. Some airports even offer free hotel stays for longer layovers.
Proof of an onward ticket is required, and the 72 hours starts from 0:00 the day following the entry date in all airports except Beijing, where the 72 hours begins from the scheduled arrival time of the flight.
In most locations, you must stay within the city limits, so this visa is not suitable for multi-destination travel or travel outside of the intended city.
Read on for our 72 hours in…blog series.