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Guide to Entry and Exit in China

China Transit Visa

If you plan on visiting China you will need a tourist visa or a work visa to enter the country. What about if you plan on having a layover in China? Do you still need a visa?

53 countries enjoy a 72-hour visa-free transit in 18 different cities in China. If you are not traveling to a Chinese city that is on this list then you will need to have a tourist visa. China is very strict about these rules so please make sure you have all of your documents in order before leaving or exiting China.

Countries Eligible Transit Visa

The 53 countries that are eligible for this 72-hour visa-free transit are:

United StatesEstoniaLuxembourgRussiaMontenegroBrunei
CanadaFinlandMaltaUnited KingdomMacedoniaU.A.E.
AustriaIcelandSloveniaUkraineNew Zealand 
Czech RepublicLatviaSwedenCroatiaJapan 

China Departure Card Slip

Either exit or arrival this yellow slip must be filled out. I recommend carrying a pen or you will be waiting a long time trying to fill this out in person over the counters. If you don’t have a pen on you then ask a flight attendant and complete it on the plane to avoid long wait lines.

The departure card slip will ask for your family name, all of your given name, passport number, date of birth, gender, flight number, and nationality.

Staying Overnight in China

Upon arrival and you plan on, touring the city, travelers must complete an entry registry within 24 hours. Staying at a hotel they will process this paperwork. Please verify with the hotel before booking that they have the ability to do so. All international hotels are able to do this.

If you like to stay in an Airbnb or an accommodation similar the travelers must go to the nearest immigration Security Bureau (PSB) or a police station to check-in. Going to the nearest police station is my recommendation as it is easier to do. If you can’t speak Chinese having a translator app will be very useful. Do not assume they will know English.

Staying Overnight Tips for Chongqing

The airport in Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG) is located in the Yubei District about 23 km from downtown. To use a taxi it would cost about 60rmb or about 7rmb to use the metro.

If you leaving from downtown please give yourself at least an hour to take a taxi to the airport. If you take the metro then plan about 2 hours to get there to be safe. There are 2 Terminals at the airport. T2 is for domestic flights in China. T3 is for domestic and international flights. Make sure you take a yellow taxi and not a red one. The red taxi will charge you double and want you to pay cash only.

Do not take these red mini taxies

Lastly, if you do not plan on seeing China, it may not be the best option to choose a layover if you do not have your paperwork in order as it requires extra paperwork and they will scan all of your fingerprints and take photos of you. If this is something that bothers you then looking at another alternative will be best for you.


Best Regards,

Dan Montana


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