Travellers from 53 countries transiting through China’s Guangdong province to a third country or region can now stay there for up to six days without needing to apply for a visa.

The new visa exemption policy came into effect on May 1. Eligible travellers can choose to arrive in Guangdong via one of three designated airports, and stay for up to 144 hours before leaving via one of the 32 departure ports (please refer to the list at the end of the article).

This new policy gives business travellers flying into Guangdong the opportunity to make short work trips or travel in the whole Guangdong Province for six days without a visa. The stay duration will be counted from 12am the day after the entry date.

Guangdong is home to the affluent Pearl River Delta, also known as the Greater Bay Area, which consists of nine cities including Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, as well as two special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau.

However, it appears that those travelling by land from Hong Kong will not be eligible for the visa exemption. This may be disappointing news for those foreign residents of Hong Kong who travel to Guangdong for business. At the moment, many nationalities require a visa to enter mainland China, even if they are residents or permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It does not appear that this new visa exemption will change that fact.

Before, foreign travellers transiting through Guangdong could only get the exemption at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and stay for no longer than 72 hours.

Guangdong is not the only province in China to offer foreign visitors 144-hour visa-free access. Other provinces or cities offering the 144-hour visa exemption policy to foreign visitors via designated airports include Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Chengdu, Liaoning, Kunming, Xiamen, Wuhan and Shandong.

At the same time, effective from May 2018, travellers from 59 countries can apply for a visa waiver to enter and stay at China’s southernmost Hainan Province for up to 30 days through a Hainan-registered travel agency and submit the required documents.


Here is the list of eligible countries, as well as designated arrival and departure ports

The 53 countries covered by the 144-hour visa free transit policy include:

  • Schengen area countries: 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
  • Other countries in Europe: Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Monaco, Belarus
  • North and South America: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
  • Asia: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei
  • Middle East: United Arab Emirates, Qatar


The three arrival ports include:

  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN)
  • Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (SZX)
  • Jieyang Chaoshan International Airport (SWA)


The 32 departure ports include:

  • Five airports
    • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN)
    • Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (SZX)
    • Meixian Changgangji Airport (MXZ)
    • Zhanjiang Airport (ZHA)
    • Jieyang Chaoshan International Airport (SWA)
  • Four rail ports
    • Guangzhou Tianhe (Guangzhoudong Railway Station)
    • Dongguan (Changping Railway Station)
    • Foshan (Foshan Railway Station)
    • Zhaoqing (Zhaoqing Railway Station)
  • Eight road ports
    • Shenzhen: Shatoujiao Port, Wenjindu Port, Huanggang Port, Luohu Port, Shenzhen Bay Port, Futian Port
    • Zhuhai: Gongbei Port, Hengqin Port
  • 15 seaports and river ports
    • Guangzhou: Port of Guangzhou, Nansha Port, Lianhuashan Port
    • Shenzhen: Shekou Port, Fuyong Port (in Shenzhen airport)
    • Zhuhai: Jiuzhou Port, Wanzai Port, Wanshan Port, Doumen Port
    • Jiangmen: Port of Jiangmen
    • Heshan: Port of Heshan
    • Foshan: Gaoming Port, Rongqi Port
    • Zhongshan: Port of Zhongshan
    • Dongguan: Humen Port