Next month I have a long layover, two days, in Pudong, Shanghai. Our flight arrives around 11.20 pm, meaning that most of the airport will be closed.

I am planning to apply for transit without a visa. It might sound silly, but I wonder if the immigration booth that deals with this closes at anytime.

If so, what time would it be?

3 Answers 3


meaning that most of the airport will be closed

Shanghai Pudong never sleeps. One of the advantages that the government saw in building it so far from the city is that it can be operated 24/7 without disturbing [most] people. It has flights non-stop. As you can see from here, PVG lands 130+ flights between 00:00 and 06:00...

Some shops might close, but immigration won't.


I am answering myself because I just came back from this transit in Shanghai Pudong.

Immigration obviously does not close, however, the desk/counter that gives those permits of 24, 72, and 144 hours in immigration was closed. For that reason, you are asked to pass to the normal "VISA" immigration lane where other immigration officers will manage your case.

The procedure took about 20 minutes to get the VISA-FREE-TRANSIT stamp and they just requested my outcoming flight e-ticket and the filled arrival blue card that I picked up from the VISA-FREE-TRANSIT lane that was closed.

IMPORTANT: Do not throw the departure card (that comes attached to the arrival VISA-FREE-TRANSIT card), since in your departure you need to submit it and I didn't see it in the departure area.

For this ~35 hours transit they gave me the 24 hours transit stamp.

I hope this info remains useful for other people.

  • Good to know. Did the 20 minutes it took was you queuing? I can't think you were standing for 20 minutes watching an immigration officer typing listlessly on a computer...?
    – user67108
    Aug 30, 2018 at 7:33
  • 1
    It was standing, I believe the officer did not know how to handle this VISA-free-TRANSIT and spent sometime talking to the other immigration officers at the main office. Thus, I was left alone nearby the main counter. Aug 30, 2018 at 8:47

Pudong operates 24 hours a day (source); and rest assured that if the airport is running the immigration line will also be running. Keep in mind that there are 3 types of visa-free transits, for various lengths. Each of them have slightly different requirements, so just and make sure you apply for the right one

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