US citizens considering traveling to Asia at any time of the year usually have their choice of hubs when it comes to transiting to their final destination. Airports in Narita and Seoul are popular for their modern designs and the airlines that come with them, but China has found a way to capitalize on their airlines’ low costs and make their cities more attractive stopover locations for vacationing Americans. The visa requirements for Shanghai and other Chinese cities make it possible to have up to a week in the country with no additional costs or hassles.
Shanghai Visa Requirements
To take advantage of visa-free transit in China, the Shanghai requirements are fairly straightforward. US citizens and members of other eligible countries must arrive by plane from one country, stop in China, and depart for another country within the allotted timeframe. Nearly every international hub in China allows Americans up to 24 hours on a transit visa in the event they’re not leaving the airport and just catching a connecting flight. However, even these visas may be used for tourism and business.
The Shanghai visa requirements are similar in that travelers should land in Shanghai Pudong International Airport. However, they may depart via any port in the municipalities of Shanghai, Jiangsu, or Zhejiang via ferry, plane, or train after being allowed in China for up to 144 hours.
To utilize this transit period, travelers need to understand the ins and outs of the Shanghai visa requirements. The clock on the 144-hour visa doesn’t begin until 12:00 AM the day following arrival, so up to a week is allowed (167-8 hours). As always, anyone traveling to China should have a passport valid for at least six months with a minimum of two blank pages for visas.
Proof of departure and accommodations may be requested on arrival and to determine the appropriate transit visa to be issued. Although Shanghai is one of the only areas in China to offer 144 hours of visa-free transit, 24- and 72-hour visas are also available if circumstances warrant them.
Shanghai Requirements for Other Visas
When you’re not planning on transiting through China and instead having Shanghai as your final destination, a regular tourist or business visa is required. Proof of airline reservations and accommodations may be presented along with your US passport, visa application form, and a fee of $140 at the closest Chinese embassy or consulate.
If you’d rather avoid the hassle of visiting one of these during working hours and leave your application in the hands of professionals with experience dealing with Chinese visas, there’s no better place to start than with Travel Visa Pro. Our staff can expedite your visa application and make sure your completed document is sitting safely in your hands before you depart for Shanghai.
Would you want to spend a visa-free week in Shanghai? What would you do?