How long can you stay in China without a visa

How long can you stay in China without a visa? This will depend on the reason for entering the country in the first place. China has a visa-free policy for nationals from some countries, such as the UK, the US, New Zealand, and Australia. Citizens from these countries can stay in China for 24 hours to 144 hours without a visa. So you can stay in China without a visa for some time based on your nationality. Let us explore the subject in great detail.

24 Hour Visa Free Transit

For most nationalities, staying in China for one day before leaving requires a transit visa but not if you are from a visa-free country like the US or UK. If you have a confirmed flight from China to a third country, you can enter and stay in China for 24 hours without leaving the Beijing Capital International airport. This applies to all airports, with the exception of Fuzhou, Mudanjiang, Yanji, and Shenzhen.

72 Hour Visa Free

The 72-hour visa-free access to China is open to nationals from 53 countries. If your country falls into this category, you can stay in China without a Chinese visa for three days. This opportunity is also open to visitors traveling to Changsha, Harbin, Xi’an, Chongqing, and Guilin ports.

144-Hour Visa Free

The 144-hour visa-free access is active in the provinces of

Chengdu – Dalian – Shanghai – Shengyang – Tianjin – Xi’an – Chongqing – Wuhan – Qingdao – Xiamen – Guangzhou – Kunming – Beijing – Hangzhou

Visitors from 53 countries, including the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, can enter any country through any of these provinces and stay for up to 6 days without a visa as long as they meet the policy requirements.

Hong Kong & Macau

Hong Kong and Macau have slightly different visa-free policies from Mainland China. For Hong Kong, a former colony of the British, there still exists a liberal tourist visa policy where nationals from about 160 countries can obtain visa free entry for 7-180 days. As for Macau, their policy is more restrictive than that of Hong Kong. British citizens can stay for up to 6 months, while citizens from 38 other countries, including Australia, Canada, the US, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, and South Korea, can stay visa-free for up to 90 days.


Pearl River Delta

Some locations also have visa-free policies for ordinary passport holders, including the Pearl River Delta. Tourists can enter visa-free if they register with a travel agency and travel as a group with other visitors. You can also enjoy visa-free access to Shantou, Dongguan, Zhaoqing, Huizhou, Foshan, Zhuhai, Jiangmen, and Zhongshan. Tourists can stay at the Pearl River Delta for up to 6 or 21 days visa free.

Visa Free To Guilin

Nationals from ASEAN nations can enjoy a 6 day visa free stay in Guilin. These countries are Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines.

Visa Free Conditions

Only visitors that meet the policy requirements will be allowed to visit and stay in approved areas in China for some time. Firstly, your country must be on the visa-free list for the area. If you are not from an approved country, you will not be allowed into the country. Secondly, you must not stay beyond the time allowed. For instance, if the rule states that citizens from your country are only allowed to stay for 6 days, you cannot exceed it by one more day.

China operates a very strict immigration policy as a means to control its population. So visitors caught flouting its laws will be deported. Another thing to take note of is the local laws of the area. Local laws are formulated by the local government of the area and must be respected at all times.  

To ensure that you don’t flout the rules, source for information online about the do’s and don’ts. Also, asks your travel agency to furnish you with as much information as possible to prepare you for the trip. If you are traveling in groups, don’t stray far from your group, so you don’t get lost, especially in crowded areas.


Your passport is the most important document as a visa free traveler. Only passports that will remain valid by your departure date will be accepted. You may also need to provide proof of accommodation and a return flight ticket as part of your documentation, especially if you are in transit to a third country.

How long can you stay in China without a visa? That will depend on your passport and the purpose of your entry. Only visitors that meet the visa policy requirements will be allowed to stay for a specified period without a visa.

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