Chengdu now offering 72-hour transit without visa

Last year China expanded their 72-hour transit without visa policy to include Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, and as of September 1st Chengdu will be included as well.

Via Timatic:

Effective from 1 September 2013, nationals of 45 countries transiting through Chengdu (CTU) to a third country and holding confirmed onward airline tickets are permitted to enter China (People’s Rep.) without a visa, for max. 72 hours. Passengers must arrive in and depart from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU).

This facility is available for nationals of Argentina,

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep.), Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Fed., Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and holders of British Citizen passports.

Nationals listed above may also use the same facility when in international transit through Beijing (PEK), Guangzhou (CAN) and Shanghai (PVG and SHA).

Chengdu doesn’t have as many international flights as the other Chinese airports utilizing this scheme, though service is expanding, and there are great connections to other parts of the region.

I’m quite excited about the news, as I have an inexplicable urge to visit these guys:

(Tip of the hat to Mac)

Filed Under: Advice, Travel
  1. I recently travelled with a friend through Beijing on the way to Tokyo. I have a visa and he does not. Everything worked out fine, but you have to explain the transit rule to a lot of people. Just be prepared.

  2. for the 72 hour transit visa can I buy a ticket on one carrier to PVG and back, another return ticket from PVG to SIN on another carrier and still be allowed into china?

  3. This is a rule where you really need to bring printed documentation. The Chinese at the border will know it for sure, but your airline likely won’t, particularly if you are flying from a country that doesn’t participate. I had a royal battle with Cebu going MNL->PVG about my lack of a Chinese visa or onward connection.

  4. Strictly speaking it is transit without visa, not entry without visa. Entering on a simple round trip may be denied (and the airline flying you to China may refuse boarding if you don’t have onward flight to a third country).

  5. @theglobaltraveller, the way I read it, you cannot fly round trip, you must fly out to a third (new) country for this to work. I used this program in May to visit Beijing. I followed the advise of others and had a printed out copy of my entire itinerary for both the airline and the Beijing immigration authorities. It clearly was essential to have the printout in both cases!

  6. So, in order for a mileage runner who wants to do a roundtrip to China without having to get a visa will need to book the roundtrip, and sandwich an award redemption in between of the arrival/departure?

    I.E. LAX-PVG-LAX with an PVG-NRT-PVG award

    Will that work? Or it all has to be on the same itinerary?

  7. You will love those pandas! There is a website recently launched , which streams the video of pandas’ everyday life in real time. Chengdu is also famous for its delicious food and long history. Really recommend this place and several cities nearby, Chongqing, Xi’an etc.

  8. I think there is some grey area with how China’s immigration authorities handle this. Our flight last month was Osaka Japan to Shanghai to Beijing to Ulaanbaatar (in Mongolia), with an overnight in Beijing. We called Air China, and they told we would not be allowed to enter the country to get a hotel because of the two connections in China and because we didn’t originate from USA. But when we arrived in Shanghai, we were forced to go through immigration. We explained to the officials that we were not trying to enter China, and after they discussed with each other, they gave us a transit visa expiring the following day. Our flight got changed (b/c of unrelated reasons) to add another over night, and we were allowed to leave the airport in both Beijing and Shanghai based on that one transit visa. I think this is an inexact science.

  9. I got a bit screwed on this with a routing of HKG-PVG, under 72 hours, and then PVG-CAN(Guangzhou)-BKK. I was stuck in a chair in immigration for 8 hours and they wanted to send me back to HKG but screwed that up. The problem was the connection in Guangzhou even though it was only 5 hours and I had no intention of leaving the airport. It just happened to me how my booking worked out to most cost effectively get to BKK. I’m too lazy to type up all the details but ultimately they made me but a new direct flight from PVG-BKK that left 4 hours after they released me from immigration. Fortunately that was still enough time to take the Maglev + metro into Pudong for some skyline photos.

  10. It’s very convenient for us to visit Chengdu, as i know, Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guilin, Shenyang, Dalian, Guangzhou and Chongqing also offer visa-free transit.

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