How to travel to China without a visa

2013-11-26 13:50
(Picture: <a href=\\>Shutterstock</a>)

(Picture: Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

In order to visit China as a foreign traveller, you've got to apply, pay, and be approved for a visa.

But if you want to explore some of the mystical places of the east without the admin hassle of applying for a visa – there are three ways you can take advantage of China's Visa Exemption Policies.

The China National Tourism Office says these three options applies to 32 countries worldwide including the US, UK, Japan, Singapore, Germany, France, Hungary and Switzerland. The CNTO has added that the visa-free policy will also be extended to some railways and ports next year.

South African travellers can only take advantage of the 72-hour free transit visa when travelling to Beijing and Shanghai. Check out  the visa tool on China Tours  if you’re not sure if you qualify or not.

Transit visa – maximum 3-day stay or 72-hour

This policy allows foreigners stopping over in the cities listed below 72 hours to roam and explore without having to apply for a visa.

Destinations you can visit include: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou & Chengdu.

Pearl River Delta Visa Exemption – maximum six-day stay or 144 hours
Visitors travelling in a group, upon arrival in Hong Kong, can get a group Visa or 144-hour Convenient Visa to travel to Guangdong Province.

This is a separate piece of paper (not attached to any passport), which requires that group members enter and exit China together.

 Destinations you can visit include Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing, Huizhou, Shantou and other places in Guangdong province.
Visa Exemption for Hainan - maximum 21-day stay
The provincial government of Hainan issued a preferential policy granting visa exemption to tourists holding private passports from 26 countries to promote tours in Hainan with duration of 21 days.

Destinations you can visit include Sanya Beach and Haiko in the Hainan Province.

Have you applied for a visa to visit China recently, what was your experience like? Tell us in the comments section below or email us on

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.