Checklist for the china transit visa
I’m assuming you’re considering applying for the free transit visa in China because you have a long stopover. For some reason, there are a lot of misleading or confusing information out there about the 24, 72 and 144 hour visa that just don’t really explain what you need. We’re going to keep this really simple and straight to the point on exactly what you need to get the free China transit visa.
Pack these for your flight
The first thing you need to check is if your transit is less than 144 hours. This is from when you land at the airport to when you depart. If you are even 1 minute over that, you cannot apply for the transit visa.
Are you entering from one of the approved ports of entry? I will link them below. Not all ports in China will allow you to apply for the 144-hour visa. For example, Guangzhou will only let you apply for the 72-hour visa.
You can only apply for the transit visa from these points in China.
- Beijing – 144-hour visa-free
- Shanghai – 144-hour visa-free
- Hangzhou (Zhejiang) – 144-hour visa-free
- Nanjing (Jiangsu) – 144-hour visa-free
- Tianjin – 144-hour visa-free
- Hebei (Shijiazhuang & Qinghuangdao) – 144-hour visa-free
- Xiamen – 144-hour visa-free
- Liaoning (Dalian & Shenyang) – 144-hour visa-free
- Kunming, Chengdu, Wuhan, Qingdao – 144-hour visa-free
- Guangzhou, Chongqing, Xi’an, Harbin, Changsha, Guilin – 72-hour visa-free
Are you from an approved country that China has been allowed to apply for the transit visa? Make sure you check the list below with all the approved countries.
- European countries: Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, Monaco.
- American countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile.
- Asian countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar.
- Schengen Agreement 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.
- Oceania countries: New Zealand and Australia.
Do you have a minimum of 6 months left on your passport? I have read that all you need is 3 months, but I have heard travellers say that they had issues, so I would highly recommend 6 months at a very minimum.
And finally, are you transiting to travel to a third country? This point is probably the one that most people find the most confusing, so I’ll break it down with some examples.
If you’re flying from America to China to America, this is not considered transiting, and you will be denied entry. If you are flying from America to China to Japan, this would be accepted as Japan is a third country.
We hope this clarifies what you need to check before considering applying for a transit visa. We also have a free checklist that can be downloaded below in order to help recover all these points.