As of November 17, 2023, Norwegian citizens can benefit from China’s new 72/144-hour transit visa-free policy, as announced by the Chinese National Immigration Administration.
The authority has also announced that the expansion of this policy now includes 54 countries, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
So far, Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Jieyang, Shenyang, Dalian, Qingdao, Chongqing, and 20 other cities, such as Chengdu, Xi’an, Xiamen, Wuhan, and Kunming, have adopted the 144-hour transit visa-free policy.
The same authority noted that travellers from the specified countries can use this policy when transiting through these cities to a third country or region.
To qualify, individuals must possess valid international travel documents and a connecting ticket with a confirmed date and seat, allowing them a visa-free stay of up to 72 or 144 hours. During their time in China, visitors can engage in short-term activities such as tourism and temporary business visits.
Foreigners who meet the conditions can apply for the 144-hour visa-free transit at the entry-exit border inspection authorities in 20 cities in China, or the 72-hour visa-free transit in three cities. Application is not possible in the cities that have not yet implemented this policy.
Since its launch in January 2013, China’s 72/144-hour transit exemption policy has provided convenience to over 500,000 foreigners.
The National Immigration Administration says it is committed to adapting to the evolving landscape of China’s high-level engagement with the world. Moreover, the focus will remain on alignment with international high-level economic and trade standards, fostering continuous reform and innovation in immigration and entry-exit policies.
According to the Immigration Administration, this proactive approach addresses the evolving needs of Chinese and foreign individuals, inbound and outbound, and facilitates international economic and trade exchanges.
The administration also anticipates that meeting new expectations and demands will contribute to promoting economic globalisation and further support China’s path to open, innovative, and high-quality development.
In May this year, citizens of Norway were exempted from visa requirements when visiting China for no more than six days, provided they then intend to travel to another country. This extension of visa-free transit privileges brought Norway into line with 53 other nations.
As previously noted, for those who have previously enjoyed such agreements with China, to qualify for visa-free transit, individuals must go to a third country after departing China.
Chinese authorities have also stated that arriving in the country under the visa-free transit policy without continuing the journey to a third country will be considered illegal entry.