I'm hoping to get a flight which requires me to be in China for 28 hours before the connecting flight out. I'm happy to sit in transit if I have to. However, I've read one site that said 12 hours is the maximum transit permitted.

Can anyone find either:

  1. Definitive information saying how long transit in Beijing/Shanghai airports are for
  2. Or can I get a transit visa on arrival, in which case I'll go check out the city for a day ;)

I'm on a New Zealand passport if it makes a difference.

Failing all that I'll pick up a visa in Mongolia en-route, I'd just rather not have to waste a few days doing so if I don't have to!

  • And then would you believe, Aeroflot go and drop their prices 10% so now flying through Moscow makes more sense. Fewer visas to go, phew!
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


China Transit Visa (G):
(Updated: 2015/03/18)

  • Visas are not required of aliens, who hold final destination tickets and have booked seats on international airliners flying directly through China, and will stay in a transit city for less than 24 hours without leaving the airport.

  • No visa is required for ordinary passport holders from Singapore, Brunei and Japan to visit China for up to 15 days for business, sightseeing, visiting relatives and friends or transit.

  • As of March 2015, citizens of 51 countries may stay visa free in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Shengyang and Harbin for 72 hours while transiting to their destinations.

  • brilliant answer, but fortunately don't need it any more. Will accept though for future visitors.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 15:23
  • Is the link an official Chinese government website? It looks like a third-party visa agent, and information from such sources is not always reliable. Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 4:07
  • @NateEldredge If you can find, you can add your own answer
    – VMAtm
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 4:15

I had a similar question for a transit in Guangzhou. I found it best to check the airport website, and bingo: https://www.baiyunairport.com/byairport-web/menu/index?urlKey=notice_en&id=7728

Passengers who directly transit through Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport for 24 hours can enjoy the policy of exemption from border inspection procedures; Eligible passengers can enjoy the 144-hour transit visa-free policy with a third-country visa and a connecting ticket to a third country (region) with a date and seat determined within 144 hours, and stay in Guangdong for 144 hours via Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. Please remember to apply to the Chinese border inspection, and make good use of 144 hours to visit Guangdong and taste the delicious food paradise of Guangzhou!

Warm prompt: Eligible passengers can go to the entry permit processing area of the Terminal 2 border inspection and entry hall of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport to handle relevant formalities and then will be issued temporary entry permits according to law; If you need to inquire about entry and exit documents and policies, you can call the 24-hour platform attendant 12367 of the National Immigration Administration, or log in to the WeChat official account applet of the National Immigration Administration.

  • 2
    Dear crocodile2u, I took the liberty of copy pasting the answer from the website and paste it here. This in case the link goes dead. (linkrot) (edit is pending) Commented Mar 31, 2023 at 14:02

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