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China set to launch 144-hour visa-free policy

China set to launch 144-hour visa-free policy article image

Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing will become the first cities in China to implement a 144-hour visa-free policy.

The policy, which is expected to begin early this year, will allow foreign visitors to arrive and depart from any of these three cities via airports, cruise terminals and train stations without a visa – providing their overall stay is within the six-day limit.

China’s State Council has approved the 144-hour visa-free program and it will be implemented soon, said Bai Shaokang, deputy mayor of Shanghai, at a recent press conference.

A definite start date has yet to be announced.

The relaxation on travel restrictions is an upgrade of the current policy that allows passport holders from 51 countries to transit through several Chinese cities for up to 72 hours without a visa.

These cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Harbin, Shenyang, Dalian, Xian, Guilin, Kunming, Wuhan, Xiamen, Tianjin, Nanjing, Qingdao and Hangzhou.

Introduced in 2013, the service has been popular, with more than 100,000 foreigners taking advantage of it.

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