China rolls out 144-hour visa-free policy

3 Feb 2016 by Clement Huang

Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou have become the first cities in China to implement a 144-hour visa-free policy.

The policy allows foreign visitors to arrive and depart from any of these three cities via airports, cruise terminals and train stations without a visa, providing their overall stay is within the six-day limit.

Bai Shaokang, deputy mayor of Shanghai confirmed in a press conference in December 2015 that the 144-hour visa-free programme had been approved by the State Council and would be implemented, with the new policy coming into effect on January 30, 2016. 

The relaxation on travel restrictions is an upgrade of the current policy that allows passport holders from 51 countries to transit through several Chinese cities for up to 72 hours without a visa. These cities are Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Harbin, Shenyang, Dalian, Xian, Guilin, Kunming, Wuhan, Xiamen, Tianjin, and Qingdao.

The service, introduced in 2013, has proven popular, with more than 100,000 foreigners having taken advantage of it.

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Clement Huang

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