I am a citizen of one of the countries (France) eligible for a 144-hour visa-free transit in some areas of Mainland China. I understand that to be granted the visa-free entry, I must have an onward ticket to a destination that is different from where I came from when entering Mainland China.

Am I allowed to leave Mainland China in a different way than this onward ticket, assuming I'm still leaving within 144 hours (starting from 00:01 on the day following the day of entry). If so, must I notify anyone prior to leaving Mainland China?

  • 1
    It's China. What could go wrong...
    – Doc
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 1:37

2 Answers 2


I believe you can't – or at least shouldn't: your onward flight is documented when you pass through Immigration for the TWOV. Since there are exit checks in China, your file will pop up when leaving, and you will have to answer why the flight you are using isn't the one you filed on entry.

There could be a good reason: flight canceled, emergency (have to leave earlier), etc. But if you fly to Bangkok, for example, instead of Seoul, the consequences could be not so much fun, from TWOV ban to entry ban. Remember that you will be fingerprinted (like in many countries in the region), and photographed, so getting a new passport wouldn't help either...

Of course they'll let you leave, but whether you can ever come back to China again, not too promising...

  • I have downvoted this answer because its claim that Chinese immigration will care (not just know) about the different departure destination is not supported by evidence.
    – ajd
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 12:17
  • 1
    Think what you want... I have been to Mainland China hundreds of times, and have used the TWOV. Have you?
    – user138870
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 12:43
  • 1
    I am not saying you are wrong, I'm saying that your answer is not supported by evidence (even by a claim of personal experience in this specific situation).
    – ajd
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 15:02

I might be late for this question, but French passport holders are now visa-free for China.


From December 1, 2023 at 00:00 to November 30, 2024 at 24:00 (Beijing time), holders of valid ordinary passports from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia travelling to China for the purposes of trade, tourism, family visit and transit are exempt from visa requirements for a maximum period of 15 days.

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