What is the change? Shanghai has rolled out an electronic application process to streamline issuance of 144-hour transit visa exemptions.

What does the change mean? The process allows travelers to report their entry information online before traveling and use self-serve machines to print out their form and fill it out upon arrival.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: 144-hour transit visa exemption.
  • Business impact: The online application forms and self-service kiosks provide convenience for travelers and faster immigration clearance.
  • Next steps: Applicants may apply from abroad at the Shanghai Police Bureau’s website here.

Background: The transit visa exemption policy applies to nationals of 53 countries who present an onward departure ticket to a third country, allowing visa-free stays of up to 144 hours in the Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu regions.

Another automated service that launched Nov. 1 allows travelers who have reported their entry information in advance to scan their passport or a QR code upon arrival at a self-service form-filling kiosk, which prints out the traveler’s entry card, eliminating the need to manually fill out the form. These self-service form-filling machines are currently available at Pudong and Hongqiao International Airports in Shanghai and are expected to be expanded to all Shanghai ports of entry.

Analysis & Comments: The new services are aimed at streamlining immigration checks for travelers who are exempt from transit visas and reducing queues during the China International Import Expo in Shanghai Nov. 5-10. The online entry pre-declaration will also inform travelers if they do not qualify for the transit visa exemption, thereby reducing the risk of being turned away upon arrival.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.