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Visa exemptions

Updated : 2017-12-08 (www.gov.cn) Print

Foreign citizens visiting China are exempt from visas if one of the following situations is applicable to them.

(1) Direct Transit

Foreign citizens who are going to transit China are exempt from visas, as long as they have a booked seat in an international connecting flight, and their stay in the city of transit is not to exceed 24 hours, and they will not get out of the airport during the stay.

From the 1st January 2013, citizens of the following countries holding a valid travel document, a transit flight ticket with a confirmed departure seat and date leaving within 72 hours, who transit via Beijing (Beijing Capital International airport) or Shanghai (Shanghai Pudong International airport and Hongqiao International airport) to a third country (region) may be exempt from a transit visa, provided that their stay within the Beijing or Shanghai administrative regions does not exceed 72 hours: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

From the 1st August 2013, citizens of the following countries holding a valid travel document, a transit flight ticket with a confirmed departure seat and date leaving within 72 hours, who transit via Guangzhou Baiyun International airport to a third country (region) may be exempt from a transit visa, provided that their stay within the Guangdong administrative region does not exceed 72 hours: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

From the 1st September 2013, citizens of the following countries holding a valid travel document, a transit flight ticket with a confirmed departure seat and date leaving within 72 hours, who transit via Chengdu Shuangliu airport to a third country (region) may be exempt from a transit visa, provided that their stay within the Chengdu administrative region does not exceed 72 hours: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

(2) Travellers to the Pearl River Delta or Hainan Island

1) Foreign citizens holding ordinary passports of a country with diplomatic relations with China, are exempt from a visa, if they are already in Hong Kong or Macao, and wish to enter the Pearl River Delta region (including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing and Huizhou) as a member of tourist group organised by a travel agency legally registered in Hong Kong and Macao, and also if their stay will not exceed 6 days.

2) Citizens of the following countries holding ordinary passports are exempt from a visa, if they travel to Hainan Province in a tourist group (more than five people inclusive) organised by an international travel agency registered in Hainan Province and approved by China National Tourism Administration, and also if their stay is not to exceed 15 days: the U.S., Malaysia, Thailand, Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Germany, the U.K., France, Austria, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Japan, and Singapore. Among the listed countries, visitors from Republic of Korea, Germany or Russia may stay for 21 days if their group includes more than two persons inclusive.

3) Citizens of Singapore, Brunei and Japan

Citizens of Singapore, Brunei and Japan are exempt from a visa when entering the border via a port open to foreigners, if their visit to China is for the purpose of tourism, doing business, meeting relatives and friends, or transiting, and if their stay is not to exceed 15 days. However, a visa will be required if one of the following situations is applicable:

a. the passport held is an ordinary one and the stay is to exceed 15 days, and the purpose of the visit is tourism, business or meeting relatives and friends in China;

b. the passport held is an ordinary one, and the purpose of the visit is study, work, settlement, official visit or news coverage in China;

c. the visitor holds a Japanese diplomatic or a public service passport.

4) Holders of valid APEC business travel cards

An APEC business travel card is equivalent to a three-year visa with multiple-entries. Holder of such a card together with a matching passport is entitled to making multiple entries, to China during the validity period of the card, and the maximum length of each stay is not to exceed two months.

5) Holders of valid certificate of permanent residence issued to foreign citizens by the People’s Republic of China

6) Holders of valid residence permit issued to foreign citizens by Chinese public security authorities

Foreign citizens who come to China to pursue study or to take office or to take employment, and resident foreign journalists, must register with the public security authorities for a residence permit after arriving in China. Within the validity period of the residence permit foreign citizens may reside in China or make multiple entries into and exits from China without having to obtain another visa.

7) Bilateral Agreements

Citizens of some countries having bilateral agreements, either signed or reached with China, are exempt from a visa if they meet certain requirements. For further information please check the list of agreements on visa exemption signed between China and foreign countries.