In an effort to facilitate the international visitors’ short stay, the city of Xian has introduced a free 72-hour transit policy. As of June 1, Xian followed the example of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Chongqing, that adopted a visa-free transit policy in 2013. Shenyang and Dalian followed on January 1 2014.

The policy allows transit passengers with passport of 51 countries to stay for up to 72 hours without visa on direct transit via Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport, Hongqiao Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, Chengdu Shuangliu Airport and Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport. Shenyang Taoxian International Airport, Dalian International Airport and Xian Xianyang International Airport have been added to the list.

Although the implementation time is yet to be determined – more and more Chinese cities plan to implement the 72-hours visa-free transit policy, including Guilin, Wuhan, Kunming, Harbin, etc.

It is very important to keep in mind that this visa does have it’s restrictions, so make sure you keep reading, before planning your trip.

The first very important thing to be aware of before entering China is that you will need a confirmed interline ticket and valid visa to the third country or region (if required) for your entry. Visitors staying with friends or family are required to register at a police station with their transit permits within 24 hours after entry. If you are staying at a hotel, the hotel will do this for you.

Be aware. Restrictions apply.

  • When stopping over Xi’an with your 72-hour transit visa, your destination must be different than your origin. Meaning that if you flew in from Taiwan, your destination cannot be Taiwan. For example Taiwan- Xi’an – Taiwan.
  • The 72-hour free stay only applies to transit via Airports. Passengers by train or any other vehicles should still apply for a transit G visa in advance.
  • You are not allowed to leave Xi’an or any other transit city during your 72-hours stay.
  • In most cases you must inform your airline in advance about your plans to acquire the free 72-hour transit visa. Passengers stopping over Beijing may acquire the visa directly from the airport authority.
  • You are not allowed to extend your stay.

Keep in mind that you should strictly follow the restrictions above. Violators of Chinese law, shall be warned, fined or detained for a few days depending on the case and will be denied re-entry in the future.

Check out the list of eligible countries

Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

source: www.travelchinaguide.com