Do I need a transit visa for China? This is a very important question if you are traveling to a third country and may need to stop in China for a short while.
It is not uncommon for international travelers to visit another country on the way to a final destination but knowing the travel documents required is important for a smooth and incident-free journey.
Do I Need A Transit Visa For China?
Whether you need a transit visa for China will depend on your passport. Nationals of some countries don’t need a transit visa to enter China for a short stay. Citizens from visa-exempt countries only need to show their passports and connecting tickets at the entry port to be allowed into the country.
However, if you are not from a visa-exempt country, you must obtain a transit visa before boarding a flight to China.
Note: Transit visas are not required for passengers who remain in the airport to switch flights.
China Transit Visa
The Transit visa is called the G visa and is issued to passengers who want to transit from Mainland China to another country but wish to remain in the country for a short time. This visa is usually valid for three months and allows for a maximum stay of 1-10 days respectively. The processing fee for this visa is often the same irrespective of the length of stay granted by the visa officer. Those who wish to stay for more than ten days are advised to get a tourist visa instead.
Types of Chinese Transit Visas
Here are the transit visas citizens from non-visa exempt countries may apply for.
24 Hour Visa
The 24-hour transit visa is for those who have booked flights with international airlines, trains, or ships for a third country but must go through China. The holder can stay within China’s borders for one day and apply for a temporary stay permit at the counter if they want to stay for a day or two.
Visa Free Transit
There are visa-free transits for citizens from selected countries, such as
72-hour Visa Free Transit
While most nationals must apply for a 24-hour transit visa, there are 53 countries whose citizens can enter China under the transit arrangement and stay for up to 72 hours without a visa. The visitors who qualify for this policy can visit about 22 cities in China.
144-Hour Visa-Free Transit
A set of 53 countries qualify for the 144-hour transit visa-free policy as long as they can pass through Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Hebei, Zhejiang, Liaoning, and Tianjin.
If you are not from any eligible country, you can apply for a transit visa before you board a flight, ship, or train.
Transit Visa Requirements
Here are the transit visa requirements
Passport: You need to attach a valid passport to your application form. Only passports with a minimum of 6 months validity and one blank page are accepted.
Form: The Transit visa application form must be completed with accurate details and your signature
Photograph: One colored photograph taken recently with a size dimension of 33mmx48mm and attached to the application form.
Resident Permit: Travelers from selected countries may be required to show a resident permit or visa for the country they are traveling to.
Confirmed Ticket: Confirmed train, ship, and air ticket for the onward journey from China.
How To Apply For A Transit Visa?
To apply for a transit visa, you must submit a completed form and your documents at a Chinese embassy, Consulate, or visa application center. You can also submit it to any of the Diplomatic missions abroad. The Chinese authorities do not accept mailed applications, so you must apply and pick up your visa in person from where you submitted your application.
China Transit Visa Processing Time
The average processing time for a transit visa is four working days, but the express service will take about 1-3 days. But you will need to pay extra for the service.
Transit Visa Cost
Transit visas cost different fees for different countries. US citizens pay about $140 or its equivalent in other currencies.
Transit Visa Conditions
You must abide by the rules and regulations of the local government authorities in the region you visit.
Furthermore, visitors on a transit visa must not stay beyond the grace period. If you want to stay for an extended period, approach immigration officers at the office desk and ask for an extension. The officer in charge will offer you an extension at his discretion. So do I need a transit visa for China? The answer is affirmative if you don’t come from a visa-free country.