Chengdu Joins Shanghai, Beijing & Guangzhou in Offering 72 Hour Visa-Free Stays to Foreign Travelers

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Aug. 23 – Following Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Chengdu will become the fourth city in China to adopt the 72 hour visa-free stay policy. The policy, which is scheduled to take effect on September 1, will make Chengdu China’s first inland city to offer a 72 hour visa-free stay to transit passengers.

Starting from September 1, foreign passengers from the following 45 countries with a valid visa and flight ticket to another country can stay up to 72 hours in Chengdu as well as the cities and counties under its administration.

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Such travelers shall strictly abide by the 72-hour requirement, as those who overstay may be fined, detained or even be deported from the country.

Last year, Chengdu received 122 million tourists in total, among which 1.6 million came from abroad. The policy is expected to help boost the local tourism economy and expedite the construction of a comprehensive transportation hub in western China.

Beijing and Shanghai were the first two cities in the country to roll out the 72 hour visa-free stay policy. From January 1, 2013, tourists entering China with visas and departing plane tickets for another country can apply for “transit without visa” at Beijing International Airport and the two international airports in Shanghai, Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao International Airport.

On August 1, 2013, Guangzhou became the third city in China to implement the 72 hour visa-free stay policy. Foreign passengers who transit at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport can enjoy a visa-free stay in Guangdong Province for up to 72 hours. However, such tourists have to depart from Baiyun Airport once their stay in the province is over.

Around 730,000 foreign passengers transit via China Southern Airlines at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport each year, offering a huge potential market for the local tourism industry. The 72 hour visa-free stay policy is expected to bring RMB5 billion of tourism revenue to Guangdong Province.

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2 thoughts on “Chengdu Joins Shanghai, Beijing & Guangzhou in Offering 72 Hour Visa-Free Stays to Foreign Travelers

    Paul Pace says:

    I will travelling from Malta to Japan on the 10th of December, 2019 to visit my son and his family residing in Tokyo.
    They booked a 3 day visit to Shanghai from the 30th December for the New Year 2020,
    My concern is the Transit Visa to enter Shanghai.
    Does if apply to me and my wife?
    If in the negative, can we apply for a normal visa from the embassy of China in Japan?
    After the visit in Shanghai we will travel back to Japan continuing our holiday with my son in Tokyo and return to our homeland Malta on the 20th January, 2020.
    Can you please guide me what to do to acquire a visa for my wife and I.
    Thanks.

    Melissa Cyrill says:

    Hello,
    To be eligible to the 144-hour visa-free transit, you need to satisfy certain requirements: 1) You are citizens from the 53 applicable countries; 2) You hold valid international traveling documents (valid period longer than three months)and tickets with confirmed date and seat for a third country (region) traveling within 144 hours; 3) You enter and exit from one of the following ports: Shanghai Pudong Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, Shanghai Railway Station, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, and Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal. In addition, you need to show the arrival/departure card filled out in detail and get ready to answer questions raised by immigration officer on site.
    To be noted, under the following circumstances, you may not be issued the temporary stay permit by entry-exit authorities: 1) Circumstances in which entry is not allowed in accordance with laws and regulation; 2) Valid period of passport is less than three months, or there is a rejection stamp from China’s visa-issuing authorities; 3)Have record of illegal entry into or exit from China, illegal residence or illegal employment in the past five years; 4) Have violated regulations on accommodation registration under serious circumstances over the past two years.
    Based on the information you provided, part of your itinerary would be Japan-Shanghai-Japan. In this case, you are not eligible to enjoy the visa-free transit.
    As to whether you can apply visa from in Japan, we suggest you confirm with the embassy in Japan.

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