Authoritative Release: 144-hour Visa-free Policy for Transiting Foreigners Available at 27 Ports
The National Immigration Administration (NIA) held a press conference in Beijing on October 23 on the 144-hour visa-free policy for foreigners transiting through Zhejiang Province, Chongqing Municipality, Sichuan Province, and Shaanxi Province. The press conference was presided by Chen Bin, spokesman and director general of the Department of Foreigners Management of NIA. Yin Chengji, vice administrator of NIA, introduced the updated policies. Chen Bin and Jia Tongbin, deputy director general of the Department of Foreigners Management of NIA, answered questions from reporters.
According to the press conference, China has witnessed continuous deepening of its opening up and exchanges with foreign countries, and now aims to further promote economic and social development and personnel exchanges between China and foreign countries. With the approval of the State Council, starting from December 1, 2019, the visa-free stay period for qualified foreigners at air ports in Chongqing and Xi 'an will be extended to 144 hours. A 144-hour visa-free transit policy will be implemented at air ports in Ningbo and incorporated into the integrated policy of Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province and Shanghai Municipality. Transiting passengers may enter and exit from the air ports of Ningbo, or the sea, land and air ports of Shanghai, air ports of Nanjing and air ports of Hangzhou where 144-hour visa-free transit policy has been implemented. The area for the 144-hour visa-free stay at Chengdu air ports will be extended to 11 cities including Chengdu, Leshan, Deyang, Suining, Meishan, Ya'an, Ziyang, Neijiang, Zigong, Luzhou and Yibin.
In recent years, in response to the new situation and requirements of deepening reform and opening up, the Ministry of Public Security and NIA have formulated and introduced a series of policies and measures to facilitate immigration management services, including the introduction and implementation of the visa-free policy for foreigners in transit. From January, 2013 to September, 2019, 452,000 foreigners entered China under this policy, including 100,000 in 2018, an increase of 24 percent over 2017.
With the policy update, a total of 30 ports of 23 cities in 18 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) will grant 144-hour and 72-hour visa-free transit to people from 53 countries. Among them, 27 ports of 20 cities will implement the 144-hour visa exemption policy for foreigners in transit, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenyang, Dalian, Qingdao, Chengdu, Xiamen, Kunming, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Jieyang, Chongqing, Xi'an, and Ningbo, with an integrated pass for regions and ports in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region and in the Yangtze River Delta region, etc. The other 3 ports in Changsha, Guilin and Harbin will implement a 72-hour visa exemption policy for foreigners in transit.
Notice: This English version is only for reference. To learn more, please refer to the authoritative Chinese version.