CHINA: New Online Application Service for Shanghai 144-Hour Transit Visa Exemption

Effective 1 November 2018, the Shanghai authorities have launched a new online application service for foreign nationals eligible for the 144-hour transit visa exemption, arriving at one of Shanghai’s airports.


Travellers of any nationality, transiting through any Chinese city to reach another country of destination, can remain in China visa-free for up to 24 hours. This transit visa exemption allows them to stay in the province of arrival (or sometimes neighbouring provinces).

Nationals of 53 countries can transit visa-free through China for up to 72 hours, if they enter through one of the participating cities: Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Harbin, Kunming, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xiamen, or Xi’an.

Nationals of the same 53 countries can transit through China visa-free for up to 144 hours if they enter through Nanjing (Jiangsu province), Hangzhou (Zhejiang province) or Shanghai; Shijiazhuang or Qinhuangdao (Hebei province), Beijing or Tianjin; or Dalian or Shenyang (Liaoning province). Other cities are expected to make 144-hour visa-free transit available in the near future.

Our Advice

Travellers and employers who may be able to take advantage of the new online application service for visitors to Shanghai are advised to contact their Newland Chase immigration specialist for the latest information.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to China, please email us at