Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing to offer 6-day visa-free transit

28 Jan 16



What is the change? Starting Saturday, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing will allow travelers from 51 countries to transit for up to six days without a visa.

What does the change mean? The policy allows travelers greater flexibility to stop in the three cities without having to obtain a visa as long as they have proof of onward travel. Business activities are not allowed during visa-free transit.

  • Implementation timeframe: Jan. 30.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visa-free transit.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals of 51 designated countries.
  • Impact on processing times: Eligible foreign nationals will not have to obtain a visa for transit stays of up to six days.
  • Business impact: The policy doubles the allowable stay from 72 hours to 144 hours, but business travelers are reminded that visa-free transit is only for tourism and social visits.

Background: Many cities in China already allow foreign travelers from 51 designated countries to stay for up to three days without a visa if they have proof of a visa for their destination country and an onward ticket.

The eligible countries are: Albania, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Montenegro, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Several northern cities, including Beijing, also plan to extend transit stays to six days, but have not implemented the policy yet.

BAL Analysis: The policy allows some foreign travelers to make side trips to three major Chinese cities on the way to their destinations.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in China. For additional information, please contact

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