Travel Visa to China

By Gabby Gabriel


Since January, I’ve taken a Chinese transit visa two different times.

My original plan was to fly from Macau to Nanjing, but Nanjing does not offer a transit visa now, so it’s best to stick to the major cities listed on the Chinese immigration website.

Check-in 1:

Trip 1, Air Macau (from Macau):

1. They knew about the Transit visa and had Pudong customs on WeChat, and they needed Pudong to approve that I was eligible for a transit visa before I received my ticket. The approval they required:

  • A picture of my passport
  • Onward flight ticket (I changed my flight to be later each time, so it’s ok if you change your flight but make sure to leave on time).

Check-in 2:

Trip 2, Asiana Airlines (From Seoul):

They were unaware of the transit visa, and I needed to advocate to let me on the plane. They didn’t require pre-approval from Pudong to get me on the plane.

Trip 1: Hong Kong to Macau to Shanghai to Phuket
Trip 2: Seoul to Shanghai to Phuket

Landing In China:

  • There is a particular arrival form for transit visas. It’s a form with a dark blue header (not the light blue header that all regular arrivals fill in)
  • Inform the person who manages the queue at the head of the line that you are doing a transit visa. Only one immigration desk can support you, and it varies from time to time, so it is best to tell the queue manager, so you get allotted to the appropriate desk.
  • The transit visa forms are near the top of the queue but don’t worry if you can’t find them. The immigration officer will give you one.

These are the only two documents they checked.

  • Printed copies: I had only digital copies both times, but they asked if next time I could print the copies as it is easier for them

i. Ongoing flight itinerary with confirmation code

ii. Hotel stay confirmation with confirmation code

The second time, they asked me what I was doing there for the 144 hours, but the first time they did not. I said I was visiting friends, which was true. The immigration officers were very friendly, and no other questions were asked, but it took them at least one hour to verify the flight and hotel information. Overall I spent 1-2 hours at the airport from landing to be able to leave the airport.

Leaving China

1. Leaving is easy. As long as you go by the date put into the visa sticker, then no questions are asked by immigration on the way out.

In Summary:

  •  Chinese airlines would be easier as they will be more familiar with the process.
  • Recommend having printed copies of your itinerary.
  • To make it easier, I recommend having a hotel booked. Even if you plan on staying with friends, it just makes it easier going through the process as they follow a strict SOP
  • Overall very smooth process, and they didn’t think it was weird I did the process twice within a month.


Thankfully I have my Z visa now, and won’t need to do this process again, but I appreciate the option for when I needed it earlier this year. Hope it helps! Any questions feel free to comment, or message me on WeChat, gabinc .

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