Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou to offer six-day visa-free stopovers

By Chris C., January 6 2016
Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou to offer six-day visa-free stopovers

Chinese cities Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou will double the country’s 72-hour visa-free stopover window by rolling out the red carpet for up to six days for transiting travellers, avoiding the need to apply for a conventional Chinese visa.

That means a business traveller could fly from Sydney to Shanghai or Nanjing, remain there for the business week, fly onwards to Hong Kong and then fly home – all sans Chinese visa – as Hong Kong is considered a separate country under China’s visa-free rules, making your Shanghai visit a ‘transit’.

A more conventional journey such as Sydney-Shanghai-Sydney without transiting a third country would, however, continue to require a pre-arranged visa.

China’s Bureau of Entry and Exit Administration (Ministry of Public Security) hasn’t yet firmed up a start date for the longer six-day window but has communicated to local Chinese media that the program will also expand to cruise terminals and train stations in these cities.

Other cities participating in the existing visa-free program including Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an, Wuhan and Xiamen will retain the current 72-hour window for transit passengers.

Also read: China: visa-free stopovers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

07 Jan 2016

Total posts 2

Thanks for this Chris. Could I ask if this visa-free scheme applies if travelling via CX from Melbourne-Hong Kong-Shanghai-Hong Kong-Melbourne (just transiting in Hong Kong)?

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2453

Nope, you need to transit China for visa-free entry which means arriving from one country (such as Australia) and flying onwards to a different country (such as Hong Kong). All other itineraries require a visa as usual.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1027

I've done a few of the visa free transits since they started. LHR-PVG or PEK-KUL or HKG.

They don't look at where the final stop is if connecting at the next port. Your example of MEL-HKG-PVG-HKG-MEL would be viewed as HKG-PVG-HKG and not valid for visa free.

Something like MEL-SIN-PVG-HKG-MEL would be fine.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 220

Makes life much easier

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