Dreaming of a 144-hour visa-free Shanghai vacation? Why wouldn’t you when it offers so much flexibility for the traveler in transit and en route to their next destination?
Shanghai is exciting, beautiful, and rich with a unique blend of east, west, and everything in between. Six days – or 144 hours – exploring in and around this city and the other destinations permitted under the visa-free transit policy, is ample time to enjoy the vibrant flavors, style, culture, history, art, and excitement available to the curious traveler who really wants to know a place.
Designed to simplify travel arrangements, 144-hour visa-free transit in Shanghai means that you only need to meet the requirements (we’ve detailed these below), and you’re on your way to enjoying a transit with a difference.
Ready to travel visa-free to the Pearl of the Orient? Let’s dive into the specifics so you know what needs to happen next.
> Learn more about China transit visas in this article
What does 144-hour visa-free transit in Shanghai mean?
Visa-free travel means exactly that: Travel without a visa. In terms of the 144-hour visa-free Shanghai transit, it means you have the flexibility of gaining entry to Shanghai at specific ports without the need to secure a visa prior to arrival.
The 144-hour visa-free transit policy was made available to international visitors to China in December 2019. It is available at 27 different ports of entry in 20 cities, with Shanghai being just one of those. In fact, when you take advantage of the 144-hour visa-free transit in Shanghai, you actually gain access to the zone which encompasses Shanghai – Jiangsu Province – Zhejiang Province. This allows visitors to transfer via certain ports of entry to stay within the administrative precincts of Shanghai Municipality, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province for 144 hours.
|City/Province||Ports of entry|
|Shanghai||Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal
Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal
Shanghai Railway Station
|Jiangsu Province||Nanjing Lukou International Airport|
|Zhejiang Province||Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
Ningbo Lishe International Airport
Okay, so that’s all great, but how do you know if your country is on the list of those eligible for visa-free travel in China? Relax, we have you covered. We’ve already put that list together. The good news is that the 144-hour visa-free transit policy applies to 53 countries (check out the list below).
|24 Schengen countries in Europe||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|
|15 European countries||United Kingdom, Ireland, Russia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, Monaco|
|6 countries in North and South America||United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile|
|2 Oceania countries||Australia, New Zealand|
|6 Asian countries||Japan, Korea, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar|
If you’ve spotted your country within the list, then it’s time to step through other requirements to meet the visa free transit policy.
To qualify for a 144-hour visa-exemption transit, here’s what you need:
- A valid passport with at least 6 months validity and required visas for destination countries (if relevant)
- Your ticket for travel beyond China with a confirmed date and seat, indicating departure within the 144-hour window. The ticket must also show your destination before arrival in China, including any stopovers outside China (required as evidence of a third country). For transit purposes, Hong Kong and Macau are considered third territories. Be aware that your departure city and the destination city must be in different countries or regions.
- To smooth the process on arrival in China, let the airline check-in staff know you will need a visa-free transit. They will advise customs at the related Chinese airport custom of your request before landing.
- Prior to disembarking from the plane, you will complete the Arrival Card for Temporary Entry Foreigners.
- Once you have disembarked from the plane, visit the relevant customs counter to obtain approval for your 144-hour visa-free Transit and have your passport stamped with a “Temporary Entry Permit”.
And that’s it. Who knew visiting Shanghai could be so easy?
Still not sure whether the 144-hour visa-free transit is right for you?
There’s no doubt international travel comes with restrictions and it always pays to be doubly sure that you’re meeting all the entry requirements when visiting another country. If you’re still unsure as to whether you qualify for the 144-hour visa-free transit in Shanghai, run through the list of specific exclusions list right here:
- Those who are inadmissible to China in accordance with relevant laws and administrative regulations
- Those whose international travel documents