My mom is going to fly out from Vietnam to the US, and she has to layover 31 hours in Shanghai. I want her to exit the airport and stay at a hotel. Also, I have been doing the research about the 144 hours free transit visa. However, she doesn’t have a US Passport, and she just has a US Greencard and a Vietnamese Passport. I have been so worried if she's gonna have to stay in the airport for that long. Can anyone help me with this? Will she able to exit the airport?

1 Answer 1


Traveling on a Vietnamese passport, your mother does not qualify for either the 72-hour or 144-hour visa-free transit programs (unless it is a diplomatic or government service passport, or she also holds an APEC Business Travel Card). She will need a visa, and if she will be returning to Vietnam via China, she should get a visa for double (or multiple) entry to save time and money.

I would look into rescheduling her flights so that her total time between arrival in and departure from China is less than 24 hours, qualifying her for visa-free transit under the 24-hour program. She could then apply for an entry permit that would let her go into the city.

If that is not possible, a Type G (transit) visa is in order. She can obtain the application online, but it must be filed with the Chinese embassy in Hanoi in person, and if approved must also be picked up in person. Your mother does not need to do this herself; she can have a friend or relative do it, or hire an agent. Standard processing time for all visas is four days, and the fee is US$60 single or US$90 double, with surcharges for expedited processing, according to the embassy website as of July 2018.

The G visa would allow her to exit the airport and go into the city, so no need to be worried about being stuck in the airport for over a day.

  • I called them to reschedule the flight, but it is impossible. And my mom a day away from Ha Noi. Does she need to give them her Passport for that visa?
    – Linh Lam
    Jan 5, 2019 at 1:13
  • @LinhLam As I noted, your mother does not need to submit the application herself; she can hire an agent to do so, or have a friend or family member do it. I linked to the visa application instructions. Yes, she will need to provider her passport—this is customary for any country, as the visa is affixed to the passport—as well as her application form, passport photo, and a copy of her itinerary showing her onward flight to the US. She will likewise need to pay the fee to get the passport back.
    – choster
    Jan 5, 2019 at 1:27
  • Thank you @Choster! I’m really appreciate your help.
    – Linh Lam
    Jan 5, 2019 at 18:57
  • I actually just plan to do that but I won have enough time to get that done by the time she flies because it takes a couple of days to get her Passport to go back and forth.
    – Linh Lam
    Jan 5, 2019 at 22:11
  • So I’m thinking about this option. On the day of her flight which is the 15th, she would just check in and claim her luggage so she can get her luggage going and get her tickets. Then, instead of flying on that day, she would buy a different ticket and flies from Vietnam to Shanghai on the next day the 16th and catches the second flight at Shanghai. Do you think I can do that? Will her luggage still go to San Francisco which is her destination?
    – Linh Lam
    Jan 5, 2019 at 22:59

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