Although requirements for each transit visa exemption are different, each transit visa exemption stipulates that foreign travelers are only eligible when traveling through China between two different countries. Further, onward travel must occur within 24, 72, or 144 hours of arrival.
1. To obtain a transit visa exemption, travelers should review eligibility requirements, and confirm their eligibility with their local Chinese embassy.
2. After confirmation, travelers must communicate their intention to obtain a transit visa exemption to their airline prior to travel.
3. The airline will liaise with border control officials, who grant transit visa exemptions to travelers that meet requirements after verification.
[Note] In most cases, the transit visa exemption only allows the traveler to visit the province of their arrival.
Foreign travelers transiting through China within 24 hours 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.
This visa exemption is only available to citizens of participating countries traveling through participating ports of entry in China.
To obtain this visa exemption, the foreign national must have a valid passport from one of the 53 countries, which includes:
|Asian (6)||Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.|
|Schengen countries in Europe (24)||Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.|
|Other European countries (13)||Russia, Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania.|
|American countries (6)||The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile.|
|Oceanian (2)||Australia and New Zealand.|
Further, eligible travelers must be transiting through one of the following 19 cities:
[Note]Notably, authorities continue to expand the list of cities where 72 hour Transit Visa Exemptions are applicable.
Foreign travelers transiting through China within 144 hours to reach another country of destination may be eligible for the 144 hour Transit Visa Exemption.
This visa exemption is available to citizens of countries that are eligible for the 72 hour Transit Visa Exemption; however, the number of paticipating cities is more limited.
To obtain this visa exemption, the foreign national must have a valid passport from one of the 53 countries that are eligible for the 72 hour Transit Visa Exemption.
Currently, the 144 hour Transit Visa Exemption is only available to travelers transiting through 6 cities:
[Note]Authorities announced that the visa exemption will be expanded to Beijing, Tianjian, and another location in Hebei province, while other cities will likely follow.
The 144 hour transit visa exemption destinated ports are as follow: