Beijing 144 Hours Free Visa Transit

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Are you planning your Beijing Layover Tour? You may think whether you need a transit visa in Beijing? This is the question frequently asked by many travelers who are going to transit in Beijing and continue to fly for a third country.

Yes, basically you need a Chinese visa to visit Beijing if you want to exit from Beijing Capital Airport for a few hours’ layover tour or 2 or 3 days’ short stay in Beijing. But currently, 53  countries are entitled to 144 hours free visa transit stay in Beijing. So Visa-free travel to Beijing is possible now!

Please note that people having a round trip to Beijing are not entitled to free-visa stay in Beijing.

Which are the 53 countries and what the preconditions for getting the free visa transit stay permit in Beijing? I will answer your questions one by one.

1. Prerequisites for getting the 144 hours transit free visa
1) The Eligible 53 nationalities include 24 Schengen Countries in Europe:
1-1): 24 Schengen countries in Europe:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

2-2): 15 other European countries:
Russia, Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Monaco and the Republic of Belarus.

3-3): 6 American countries:
The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile.

4-4): 2 Oceanian countries:
Australia and New Zealand.

5-5): 6 Asian countries:
Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

2) Travelers must have valid passports.

3) Travelers must have confirmed tickets to a third country or regions (Hong Kong and Macau).

Passport Control and Immigration

Officially Designated Entry Points in the three places of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei: 

Ports of entry and exit are extended to designated international railway stations, seaports and airports.

Previously, the policy was once applied only at airports. Now passengers are allowed to arrive and exit at the following six points in the three places: Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province.

Beijing Capital International Airport
Tel: 0086-10-96158

Beijing West Railway Station in the capital
Tel: 0086-10-51824233

Tianjin Binhai International Airport
Tel: 0086-22-96777

Tianjin International Cruise Home Port in Tianjin
Tel: 0086 -22-25605128

Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport
Tel: 0086-311-96360

Qinhuangdao seaport in Hebei province
Tel: 0086-335-3099676

How to Apply for 144-Hour free-visa stay in the three areas ( Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province):


When you disembark your plane or ship, just follow the throng or the signs directing you to international arrivals, immigration and customs.

Passport Control/Immigration
In the Passport Control/Immigration Area, find your special lanes for 144-hour visa-free transit passengers.

Some 144-hour transit passengers miss their layover tour in Beijing simply because they cannot locate the special lanes to get the visa-free permit. Actually the special lanes for 144-hours visa-free transit are located just on the left side of the Lanes for Foreign Citizens as well as on the right side of the Lanes for Chinese Citizens.

You need to fill up the entry registration card and get your 144- hours free visa stay permit, a stamp on your passport. The items for filling up the registration to get your 144-hour free visa stay permit:

Name,Sex, Birth, Passport Number, Nationality, Arrival Date, Arrival Flight, Exit Time, Exit Flight, Contact Phone Number in Beijing, Address in Beijing (Tianjin or Hebei), Reception Unit or Person, Reception Unit Phone Number.

Go through Customs, claim your luggage ( if necessary ) and leave airport.

Very Important Notice:
If your airline by which you are travelling doesn’t have the latest information the 144-hour visa free transit policy in Beijing, plus they inform you that only those with valid visa’s can travel with them.

Then you can show them the official website of Beijing Capital Airport to verify that you will not encounter any problems in Beijing. Please check out the links below:

What you can do during your 144-hour visa-free stay in the three Areas:

The 144-hour visa-free transit allows you for a sufficient time to visit Beijing, or Tianjin and Hebei per your travel request.

For more information Beijing tours, Tianjin tour and Hebei tour, please check out the following links:

Beijing Layover tour
Beijing Tour Packages

Tianjin Tour
Tianjin Cruise Port Transfer & Tour

Hebei Tour
Shijiazhuang Tour
Chengde Tour
Zhangjiakou Tour
Qinhuangdao Tour

Further Readings

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

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169 Responses to “Beijing 144 Hours Free Visa Transit”

  1. Daniel says:

    Hello Hanna,

    The free-visa transit stay policy clearly says that if you arrive either in Beijing or Shanghai, then fly to a third country, you will enjoy free-visa stay either in Beijing or Shanghai. But you cannot enjoy free-visa transit stay for the two cities on the same flight routes.

    You cannot fly from Beijing to Shanghai or from Shanghai to Beijing; you must fly to a third country, so that you can enjoy the free-visa stay either in Beijing or Shanghai.

    In short, in your case, you are eligible for free-visa stay either in Beijing or Shanghai – just one city, not put them together. Hope you understand what I mean. Have a good layoer either in Beijing or in Shanghai.

    Helsinki – Beijing – Singapore ( OK )

    Or Helsinki – Shanghai – Singapore (OK)

    Not Helsinki – Shanghai – Beijing – Singapore ( NO way!)

  2. maria says:

    if my flight arrives at 9:30pm, Jan 30, 2014 and we had booked for a 3-day tour, when will the 72 hr visa free stay starts. I’m booking a flight out of Beijing Feb, 2 at around 8pm. Will I be within the 72 hr visa free stay. Shall I just lounge at the airport overnight and asked to be picked up by the tour driver the next morning?

  3. maria says:

    If i arrive at Beijing airport at 9:30 pm of jan 30, 2014 and had booked for a 3 day Beijing visa free tour, when will the 72 hour limit starts? Will I have to lounge at the airport overnight and be picked up by the tour the next day. If I depart for the Philippines on the night of Feb 2, 2014, am I within the 72 hour window frame. Please advise,.Thanks

  4. Daniel says:

    Hello Maria,

    Your 72-hour transit stay in Beijing Starts with the time when you have your passort and boarding card stamped when you go through the customs. You must be back to the airpirt within 72 hours.

  5. Thea says:


    I am planning to go to Philippines. I’m from Vancouver, not resident yet under Philippine passport and my itinerary flight will have stopover via Beijing for 10 hours as well as my return flight. I have no plan to go anywhere but to stay in the airport and wait for my next flight. Do I need transit visa for this itinerary and vice versa?

    Vancouver – Beijing (layover) – Philippines
    Philippines – Beijing (layover) Vancouver

    Thanks and appreciated.


  6. Daniel says:

    Hello Thea,

    If you remain inside Beijing airport for the 10-hour layover, you don’t need a transit visa. Please reconfirm it with your airline that brings you from Vancouver to Beijing.

  7. Grace Blount says:

    My father will have a 15 hr layover in Beijing on July 16, 2014 from United States to the Philippines. He is interested in a layover day tour of Beijing city highlights from the airport. From your information he is eligible for 72 hour visa free stay but it seems a lot of work; i.e. registering with police? Is this necessary and how can he do this?

    thank you for any information.

  8. Christine says:


    I am a resident of the United States and in March I am going to New Zealand and Australia. On the way back from Australia, I have a layover in Beijing and then returning home to the US. Will I be eligible for the 72 hour transit free visa? Also, are private tours customizable? Thank you.

  9. Daniel says:

    Hello Christine,

    Happy Chinese New Year! Yes, sure you are eligible for the 72-hours free-visa transit stay in Beijing. We have pre-arranged Beijing layover tours that could be tailor-made tour per your need. See the links below:

  10. Daniel says:

    Hello Grace Blount,

    Happy Chinese New Year! Very easy, no need for registering with police! Just getting the free-visa stay when he goes through the customs. Of course, he needs to fill up some necessary personal information.

  11. Anica says:

    Hi. I’ll be having a 15 hour layover in Beijing next week. I will be flying from the US to the Philippines. I am currently a US permanent resident. Will I be eligible for the 72 hour visa-free stay?

  12. Anica says:

    … I am a US permanent resident holding a Philippine passport, if that helps at all. Thank you!!!!

  13. Daniel says:

    Hello Anica,

    As far as I know, this 72-hour free visa transit policy is designed for the citizens in the 45 designated countries including the USA. But you are not a US citizen, so you are not entiltled to the policy. You need a China visa. Have a good time in China.

  14. Daniel says:

    Hello Anica,

    Sorry, you are not eligible for the visa-free stay simply because you are not a US citizen.

  15. Sasha says:

    I’m wondering if i can fly into Beijing from the US, spend 72 hours there then fly to HK for 5 days, then fly back to beijing for another 24 hour stay before returning to the US? Or do I have to stay in the airport upon my return from HK to Beijing?

  16. Daniel says:

    Hello Sasha,

    You can enjoy two visa free transit stay in Beijing on your the States-Beijing-Hk-Beijing-the States trip. So you don’t have to stay in the airport upon your return from Hk to Beijing. Have a good layover in Beijing!

  17. maryjhane says:

    hi, gud morning! im currently at beijing right now, im here with a F visa, and my duration of stay will only last for 14 days, i already applied for the extension of my visa, they gave me a application reciept which i could use to travel here in china, can i use this receipt to have a flight from beijing to zhejiang? do i have to present other documents aside from this. thank u

  18. Daniel says:

    Hello Maryjhane,

    As far as I know, for domestic flights within China, the airport securities only check your passport instead of your visa. But it is safe to carry your application receipt on hand just in case. Have a good time in China!

  19. maryjhane says:

    thanks for the answer, my passport is in the municipal office right now nd it will be released on monday, however i have to fly to zhejiang on sunday, they told me that i could use the reciept, im just kinda hesitant that they will not allow me to go zhejiang withour my passport, but they say that the receipt will serve as my temporary passport, should i also bring the photocopy of my passport? thanks once again

  20. Daniel says:

    Hello Maryjhane,

    As far as I know, you just do a they tell you to do simply because they work for the government. The receipt should serve as the official travel document. Your photocopy is not authoritative. One of our friends once lost his Chinese ID card, he later got a piece of paper ( similar to yours ) and went without any problem. Hopefully you are ok with the paper.

  21. Daniel says:

    Hello Maryjhane,

    As far as I know, you just do a they tell you to do simply because they work for the government. The receipt should serve as the official travel document. Your photocopy is not authoritative. One of our friends once lost his Chinese ID card, he later got a piece of paper ( similar to yours ) and went without any problem. Hopefully you are ok with the paper.

  22. maryjhane says:

    ok thanks, i hope and pray that everything will gonna be just fine. thanks alot!

    is Daniel is your english name sir? are you Mr. Dai Honghai? thanks

  23. Daniel says:

    Hello Maryjhane,

    Hopefully you have a great time in Zhejiang! Yes, Daniel is My English name. Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang,worth your exploring for 1-2 day if you have time.

  24. Abe A. says:

    Hi! I am a US citizen and will be traveling to Hong Kong. I would like to visit the Great Wall, then back to Hong Kong. Do I qualify for 72 hour Visa

  25. Daniel says:

    Hello Abe A.,

    If you fly from the States to Hong Kong via Beijing, you are eligible for up to 72 hours free-visa stay in Beijing. When you arrive at Beijing airport, you just fill up the form and get the permit for the free-visa stay on the sport. Have a good time in Beijing!

  26. Cecilia CP says:

    I’m travelling to Australia through Beijing and I do understand that I’m entitled of a 72h free-visa. My only question regards to “Contact Phone Number in Beijing, Address in Beijing, Reception Unit or Person, Reception Unit Phone Number”… I don’t know anyone in Beijing… I just want to visit the city while I wait the connection flight to Sydney! What information should I give?
    Thank you!

  27. Daniel says:

    Cecilia CP,

    As far as I know, when you arrive at Beijing airport, you go through a special counter designed for 72 hour passengers who are required to fill up the form and get the permit to enter Beijing.

    I don’t know why you need to provide such information as you have mentioned – Contact Phone Number in Beijing, Address in Beijing, Reception Unit or Person, Reception Unit Phone Number.

    Actually you travel independently, why need such information? A little puzzled. Who has asked you for the information above?

  28. Daniel says:

    Hello Cecilia CP,

    Just a follow up to my previous reply.

    I’ve just checked that you don’t have to provide Address and contact person in Beijing if you don’t stay in Beijing and have nobody to take you around the city.

    But this is just my personal reply, not an official confirmation and I don’t hold any responsibility for possible inability to enter Beijing.

    Have a good luck!

  29. Laura garcia says:

    I am a filipino citizen but permanently resides in the united states and a green card holder, i purchased a ticket from houston texas going to philippines and i have a 15 hrs layover in beijing, do i stilll need to get a visa to exit beijing airport? Me and my wife wants to tour beijing during our layover. Thank you.

  30. Daniel says:

    Hello Laura garcia,

    yes, you still need to apply for a China visa. American citizens are eligible for the visa-free 72 hours, not residents.

  31. Sharon says:

    Hi Daniel

    I’m travelling to Beijing for 2 nights, then Shanghai for 3 nights and then Hong Kong. Will I be entitled to the free visa.

  32. Daniel says:

    Hello Sharon,

    No, you must fly for a third country via Beijing or Shanghai for a transit 72 hour visa free stay either in Beijing or Shanghai. If you fly from Beijing to Shanghai, you are not eligible for the 72 hours. Beijing or Shanghai, not both.

  33. manuel says:

    Hello. We fly to shanghai from Seoul, stay there 65 hours and then fly to Taipei. Do we need a visa? Thanks

  34. Daniel says:

    Hello Manuel,

    Basically you are entitled to the visa-free transit stay in Shanghai and don’t need to apply for a visa in advance. Suggest you reconfirm it with your international airlines. Have a good layover in Shanghai!

  35. Nina says:


    I am planning to fly from Taipei to Guilin (direct), stay in Guilin for 72 hours with the visa-free transit stay, and then depart for USA. The problem is I have a layover in Beijing on the way to the USA. Does that disqualify me?

  36. Daniel says:

    Hello Nina,

    You should fly from Guilin to the USA directly in ordert to enjoy the 72 hours in Guilin. If you fly to Beijing from Guilin, then to the States, it seems you are not entitled to the 72 hours in Guilin.

  37. Gina says:

    Im a US resident and I wil be travelling to the Philippines with a 15 hrs. layover in Beijing, will I be able to go out of the airport ,do some sightseeing before I continue on my flight? If there is a visa required what will it be and how will I be able to apply for one?

  38. Daniel says:

    Hello Gina,

    If you are a US resident with a US passport, you are eligible for up to 72 hours visa free-stay in Beijing. After getting off from your plane, follow other passengers to the hall for security and custom check; on your way near the hall, you will see a signboard “72 Hour Visa Free Transit”. Just follow the direction and some staffers there will help you fill up the form and get the permit for visa-free visit in Beijing. Have a good time in Beijing!

  39. Gina Louise says:

    Hi Daniel,

    If I am traveling to Beijing from the US and caught a connecting flight in another country before returning to the US, would I still be eligible for the 72 hour visa free stay? How long do you have to stay in the third country in order for it to count for the visa-free 72 hour policy?

  40. Daniel says:

    Hello Gina Louise,

    1) No specific request for the time a transit passenger has to stay in the third country. A transit passenger is only required to have a connecting ticket to a third country.

    2) I think you are eligible for the 72 hours visa free stay in Beijing because you are an American citizen and you have a ticket for a third country, so you are a transit passenger.

    Have a good time in Beijing!

  41. rheez says:

    hi there,

    I am from new zealand. I fly from Sydney, Australia to Hong Kong. Spend a day in Hong Kong (arrive early morning and depart in the evening) then fly to Beijing. I want to do a day tour before flying to Johannesburg, Africa. Am I eligible for the 72 hour visa?

  42. Daniel says:

    Hello Rheez,

    Yes, you are eligible for the 72-hour visa free policy. Have a good time in Beijing!

  43. Maria Paulina says:

    Hi! I am currently a Philippine passport holder doing my studies in Madrid, Spain. I am travelling from Munich to Japan with a 9-hour stopvover on the way back. My flight would be like Osaka-Beijing-Munich. I would like to go on a transit tour while i am in Beijing. Does this require me to obtain a visa? how easy or difficult is it for just the transit tour?

    I am currently residing in Madrid. Where may I apply for the transit visa?

    Thank you!

  44. Daniel says:

    Hi Maria Paulina,

    Places to apply for a visa

    Chinese Embassy in Spain
    ss: C/Arturo Soria, 113, 28043 Madrid
    Tel: 0034-91-5194242
    Consul Office Address: C/Josefa Valcárcel 40, 1a planta 1, 28027 Madrid, Spain.(Sección Consular de la Embajada de China)
    Tel: 0034-91-7414728
    Fax: 0034-91-7414793

    Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Barcelona
    Add: No.34 Av.Tibidabo, Barcelona, Spain
    Tel: 0034-93-2541199
    Fax: 0034-93-2127718

    Consular Office (for visa, passport, authentication & notarization)
    Add: Carrer de lleó XIII, No.34, Barcelona, Spain
    Tel: 0034-93-2547070
    Fax: 0034-93-2118794
    Office Hours: 09:30 -13:30, Monday, Wednesday, Friday (except holidays)
    Consular Districts: Catalonia Region including Barcelona Province, Lleida Province, Girona Province and Tarragona Province

  45. Chris Broadhead says:

    if i were to arrive in Beijing on Tues at 1445 and wish to leave at Frdayi at flight time of 20.00hrs to Manilla would this exceed the 72 hour visa free stay

  46. Daniel says:

    Hi Chris Broadhead,

    Yes, you exceed the 72 hours. You should leave at 1445 on Friday if you want to enjoy the visa-free 72 hours stay in Beijing. I suggest you return to Beijing airport at noon on Friday to avoid any trouble due the time limit for 72 hour policy.

  47. Lefteris says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Me and my wife have flight Hong Kong-Beijing-London and staying in Beijing for 70hours.
    My wife is From El Salvador(Central America) with a permanent residence permit in Greece.

    Is she eligible for the 72 transit visa??(Her passport is from El Salvador)

  48. Daniel says:

    Hi Lefteris,

    As far as I known, El Salvador is not among the 51 Nationalities Eligible for 72 Hours. She still needs a China visa for entery into Beijing.

  49. SP says:

    I am a US citizen. I have booked a round trip flight from Phoenix to Seattle to Beijing arriving 2/9/16. I have a 3 day stay in Beijing planned before heading to Thailand. I have a separate round trip flight booked on 2/12 from Beijing to Bangkok for an extended vacation.
    I booked a returning flight from Bangkok to Beijing on 3/25, with a planned stay in Beijing for 6 days. I booked a separate flight from Beijing to Seattle to Phoenix USA on 5/2/16.
    Will I need to apply for a Chinese Visa for both flight trips? (Time limit of visa?)Can you provide me with any issues you may foresee?
    We booked two seperate round trip tickets to have a stayover in beijing on our way to thailand, instead of multi city flight booking, as it was more cost effective. I hope there aren’t any issues with this plan? Please advise.
    Many thanks!

  50. Daniel says:

    Hi SP,

    1. Seattle – Beijing – Bangkok flights
    You are eligible for up to 72 hours visa-free transit stay in Beijing. If you want to stay more than 72 hours in Beijing, you still need to apply for a Chinese visa.

    2. Bangkok – Beijing – Seattle Flights
    You are eligible for up to 72 hours visa-free transit stay in Beijing. If you want to stay more than 72 hours in Beijing, you still need to apply for a Chinese visa.

    Have a good layover trip to Beijing!

    Any questions, just drop a line again.

Questions and Answers: