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

, 05/11/2018

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.

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.

Background
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). From 1 January 2019, this will be applied to five more cities: Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan, Chengdu and Kunming. Other cities are expected to make 144-hour visa-free transit available in the near future.

Action Items
Travellers 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.