Transit through China. Transit Conditions

Since March 15, 2023, China has resumed issuing all types of visas for foreigners. Entry is also permitted with existing visas issued before March 28, 2020.
For tourists flying from one country to another with a layover in China, visa-free transits of 24, 72, or 144 hours (depending on the arrival city) are available. This is convenient for those who wish to exit the airport without the need for a visa.
To use visa-free transit, consider the following:
- The journey must be conducted by air only.
- Arrival and departure must be from the same city.
- If transiting a city for less than 24 hours, arrival and departure must be from the same airport in that city (if there are multiple airports).
- Carry a printed itinerary in English or Chinese with all flight segments.
- Your passport must have at least one blank page.
- When crossing the border, present the electronic ticket and all boarding passes (for previous and next flights).
To utilize the 144-hour transit, you can arrive at the following international airports:
- Hongqiao (Shanghai Hongqiao), SHA
- Pudong (Shanghai Pudong), PVG
- Xiaoshan (Hangzhou), HGH
- Lukou (Nanjing Lukou), NKG
- Beijing (Beijing Capital International Airport, PEK) – allowed within Beijing
- Guangzhou (Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, CAN) – allowed within Guangdong province
- Chengdu (Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, CTU) – allowed within Chengdu
- Kunming (Kunming Changshui International Airport, KMG) – allowed within Kunming
- Wuhan (Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, WUH) – allowed within Wuhan
- Xiamen (Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport, XMN) – allowed within Xiamen
- Tianjin (Tianjin Binhai International Airport, TSN) – allowed within Tianjin
- Shijiazhuang (SJW)
- Xiaoshan (Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, HGH) – allowed within Zhejiang province
Currently, a 72-hour visa-free transit is available for citizens of 45 countries. It allows staying in certain areas without a visa:
- Jiangbei (Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, CKG) – allowed within Chongqing
- Xianyang (Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, XIY) – allowed within Xi'an and Xianyang
- Liangjiang (Guilin Liangjiang International Airport, KWL) – allowed within Guilin
- Taiping (Harbin Taiping International Airport, HRB) – allowed within Harbin
In Guangzhou, Xi'an, Chongqing, Chengdu, Dalian, Tianjin, Wuhan, and Xiamen, the 72-hour visa-free period now starts at 00:01 on the day following arrival. In other cities, the time is counted from the moment of arrival.
The countdown begins at 00:01 the day following the arrival date. Therefore, if you arrive in Shanghai on May 6 at 17:00, the 144-hour transit period begins on May 7 at 00:01.
If you wish to use the 24-hour transit, it is possible in all other cities in China, except those airports where visa-free transit is prohibited (Fuzhou, Shenzhen, Yantai, and Mudanjiang). In Urumqi, you can stay outside the airport without a visa for only two hours.
Passengers arriving at China's airports should consider that these airports are major transportation hubs with a large passenger flow. Due to this, delays and queues are possible at various stages of control and customs procedures. To avoid unpleasant surprises, allocate more time for airport navigation than usual. It is recommended to arrive at the airport early to avoid rushing and uncertainty.
Also, keep in mind that there may be confusion in Chinese airports, especially for those who do not speak the local language. Therefore, if you are unsure where to go, it is best to seek assistance from airline representatives or airport staff.
Finally, it is essential to understand that the final decision on allowing an individual outside the transit zone is made by a specific officer of the airport's border service.
Tourists who want to stay in China longer or are not transiting can obtain a visa through an agency at the Grand Palace Hotel Sanur in Sanur (costing around 815,000 rupiahs).
Please note that new rules have recently been introduced, simplifying the entry of tourists into China.
According to the "Law on Frontier Health and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China," the General Customs Administration has decided that starting from 00:00 on November 1, 2023, tourists arriving and departing from China are exempt from filling out a "Health Status Declaration." However, upon entry/exit, guests with symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, various bleeding, or diagnosed with an infectious disease must submit a health status declaration to customs in advance and then follow the instructions of the agency's staff. Individuals with the listed symptoms will undergo a medical examination and testing. Tourists concealing symptoms or evading quarantine will be held responsible. The same applies to those who contribute to the spread of infections.
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