I am traveling to India from US with my family. Everyone in my family is a US citizen except my mom. She has a green card. We have an 8 hour layover in Shanghai and I wanted to take them out into the city for sightseeing. Can she leave the airport if she has an Indian passport? https://www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/visa/free-transit-24hour.htm According to this page, she is allowed to leave the airport under the 24 hour visa but I just wanted to check if anyone has done this?

  • Is the 4-5 hours the amount of time you expect to have in Shanghai, after immigration, trains, etc., or the time between flights? Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 4:29
  • @PatriciaShanahan 4-5 hours is what I roughly estimated to have left from the time we get to and return to Maglev station (at the airport). So 3-4 hours being dedicated to immigration, finding the maglev station and returning back to the boarding gate.
    – Singh
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 4:45
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    We don't do recommendations of what to visit, so I edited that part out of your question. Commented Oct 23, 2017 at 19:46

1 Answer 1


Yes, according to Timatic she is eligible for 24 hour TWOV.

However I would not recommend leaving the airport if you only have 4-5hr connection. First, going through immigration, getting a permit, and getting through the customs will take time; let's say 30 minutes. Walking to Maglev station, buying tickets and waiting for the train - another 30 minutes since the station is between terminals and is a bit of walk (assuming your mother can't run). Now Maglev doesn't bring you into the city center - rather into the subway station at outskirts. From there its around 20 minutes by subway to Bund. This adds up to 90 minutes, assuming everything went perfect.

Then if you properly time the subway and Maglev ride (and buy return Maglev in advance), you'll be back at the airport in around 45 minutes. Add another 45 minutes to clear security and passport control and for walking through. So you're looking at 180 minutes - 3 hours - from airport gate to center to airport gate - and you need to be at departure gate at least 30 minutes before the flight.

So you'd have only 30 minutes of free time (in case of 4hr layover). I'd say you can only do it if you been there before, know where to go, have all schedules in your phone, buy all tickets (maglev roundtrip and subway) in advance - there may be long lines to subway ticket machines, and know where to go. Otherwise I wouldn't do this, especially with your mother.

  • Thank you for that insight. We have a total of 8 hour layover, but I had roughly dedicated 4-5 hours for just sightseeing including the maglev ride, thereby leaving 3-4 hours for immigration/boarding on/off, reaching the maglev station and then returning to catch the outward flight.
    – Singh
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 4:55
  • 8hrs should be enough. In this case you might consider taking taxi to Bund to save energy, and take subway + Maglev on the way back to have predictable arrival time. Expect subway to be crowded; Maglev will likely be empty (and honestly this is probably the most useless fast train line I've ever seen in my life)
    – George Y.
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 5:20
  • Dude that Maglev gets used everyday by tons of people. It's shanghai, lots of people
    – Huangism
    Commented Oct 23, 2017 at 20:10
  • @Huangism Yeah eventhough my plan seems to work out perfectly, I am still nervous because 1. Overpopulation 2. Not many people know English 3. it's my first time and it might not go as expected.
    – Singh
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 2:47
  • The time you have is kind of tight due to the amount of time to get out and in the airport. With the traffic in Shanghai, I would just stick to the airport. Maybe get a message during the layover and get some food. It would suck if you miss the flight due to some unforeseen situation
    – Huangism
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 11:57

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