Effective November 1, 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.

The number of foreign nationals visiting Shanghai is expected to increase during the week of 5-10 November 2018, due to the China International Import Expo hosted in the city.


Travelers 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 neighboring 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.

Action Items

  • Travelers and employers who may be able to take advantage of the new online application service for visitors to Shanghai are advised to contact an immigration specialist for the latest information.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.