China further increases Transit Visa Exemptions in 2018
Author: Matej Balen
31st July 2018
BEIJING – First introduced in 2016, foreign travellers transiting through China have several options for transit visa exemptions. Depending on their nationality and entry/exit point, foreign travellers could get a visa-free visit for 24, 72 or 144 hours.

Transit visa exemption stipulates that foreign travellers are only eligible when traveling through China between two different countries. Further, onward travel must occur within 24, 72, or 144 hours of arrival. To obtain a transit visa exemption, travellers should confirm their eligibility with their local Chinese embassy, and inform the airline about their intention to obtain a transit visa exemption. In most cases, the transit visa exemption only allows the traveller to visit the province of their arrival, with the exemption of Beijing and Shanghai area that also allows travelling to neighbouring provinces.

 The 24-hour Transit Visa Exemption:

 Foreign travellers transiting through China to reach another country of destination may be eligible for a 24-hour Transit Visa Exemption. This visa exemption is available to all foreigners, and most ports of entry in China.

 The 72-hour and the 144-hour Transit Visa Exemption:

 Foreign travellers transiting through China within 72 or 144 hours to reach another country of destination may be eligible for the 72-hour or 144-hour Transit Visa Exemption. This visa exemption is only available to citizens of 53 countries traveling through ports of entry listed below:

 (72-hour exemption) cities of entry/exit: Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Harbin, Kunming, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xiamen, or Xi’an.

 (144-hour exemption) cities of entry/exit: Hangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing, Tianjin, and Chengdu (soon).

Travellers applicable for these transit visa exemptions must hold a valid passport from one of the 53 countries: 24 Schengen-area countries, 15 other European countries (including Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, UK, and Ukraine), 6 countries in North and South America (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and the USA), Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Japan, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, and UAE.


Hainan Visa Exemption


In 2018, further exemptions have been introduced for travellers to south China’s Hainan province, visa-free for up to 30 days. Unlike other visa exemptions in China, visitors to Hainan enjoying visa-free access do not need to be traveling to a third country. However, they must book their visits via travel agencies registered in Hainan and approved by China’s National Tourism Administration. Visitors must hold a valid passport from one of the above mentioned 53 countries (plus some additional Asian countries).


For the region of Southeast Europe, it is worthy to mention that citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina do not need a visa to enter China as long as their trip lasts below 90 days, and for the citizens of Serbia 30 days.














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