China extends 144-hr visa-free transit to more cities

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-23 14:47:07|Editor: ZD
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BEIJING, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- The number of Chinese border ports that allow eligible international travelers to transit within 144 hours without a visa will increase to 27 from Dec. 1, said the National Immigration Administration (NIA) Wednesday.

The newly added border ports to the list are Chongqing Municipality in southwest China, Xi'an, capital of northwest Shaanxi Province, and Ningbo in east China's Zhejiang Province, the NIA said in a press release.

The list now includes major cities across China, such as Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Wuhan and Guangzhou.

Meanwhile, the other three border ports of Changsha, Guilin and Harbin enjoy a 72-hour visa-free transit policy.

The visa-free transit policy will be more flexible. According to the new policy, international travelers who enter China through Chengdu airport will be allowed to stay in 10 other nearby cities around Chengdu for up to 144 hours visa-free.

They will also enjoy the policy when they enter from one of the border ports in the Jiangsu-Zhejiang-Shanghai region and exit from another.

The visa-free transit policy approved by the State Council applies to people from 53 countries including Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Russia, the United States, Brazil, Japan and Qatar.

From January 2013 to September this year, more than 452,000 foreigners traveled through China under the visa-free policy. The number reached 100,000 in 2018, up 24 percent year on year, according to the NIA.