[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >
Do I need a visa for Guangzhou China?
A Chinese Visa is needed for regular visit for Guangzhou. Meanwhile, China offers exclusive Visa Waiver Programs for certain visitors, which allow them travel to Guangzhou and China without applying a visa. For example, there are 6-days visa-free policy for group tourists in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.
Do I need a visa for a layover in Guangzhou?
If you are not eligible for China 24 Hour or 144 Hour Visa-free Transit Policy in Guangzhou, a Chinese Transit Visa (G Visa) is required for international transit. The transit visa should be applied and got before arrival. But, as long as you meet all the official requirements, you may enjoy a Transit Visa Exemption for Guangzhou for 24 or 144 hours.
Until August 1st, 2018, Guangdong Province altogether provides 16 entry & exit policies for aliens, among them, 6 policies are specialized for China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone & 10 for entire Guangdong Province. Currently, there are 3 main visa free rules carried in Guangzhou, including the 24 Hour Direct Transit Visa Free, 144-Hour Visa-free Transit and 144 Visa-free in Pearl River Delta for Group Tour. Due to the huge convenience and perfect connection with Hong Kong and Macau, Guangzhou Transit Without Visa (Guangzhou TWOV) is widely considered as the most popular choice for a layover in Guangzhou.
Since June 28th, 2013, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou was approved to execute 24-Hour Visa-free Transit Policy for transit passengers from any foreign countries. The Transit Visa will be exempted if the traveler hold connecting flight ticket to a third country (region) transiting through China. Under such policy, you can choose to stay within the airport without going through any immigration formalities, or apply for an Temporary Entry Permit (needed for stay in free transit hotel of China Southern Airlines) for leaving airport.
Advantage: You don’t have to prepare documents for transit visa application in advance, which saves much your time, money and engergy. So, during short layover, you can have a rest and relaxing in or outside the airport.
From August 1st, 2013, Guangzhou became the third city which implemented 72-Hour Visa-free Transit Policy in China, after Beijing and Shanghai. Nationals from 45 countries can apply for transit visa exemption in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport for no more than 72-hour stay in the whole Guangdong Province, once they hold valid visa and connecting flight tickets to a third country (region). Next flight should take off within 3 days. Later, more states were added, and the policy applies to citizens of 53 countries then. Attention that now the 72 hour visa free transit has been extended to 144 hours.
Advantage: You are only allowed to enter via Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, but you may visit Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, totally 21 prefecture-level cities in Guangdong Province.
For more details about 72-Hour Visa-free Transit Cities, Valid Countries, Application and Guide in China, please visit China 72 Hour Visa Free Transit >>.
Since May 1, 2019, Guangdong Province optimized the former 72-Hour Visa-free Transit to the newest 144-Hour Visa-free Transit, to meet ever-creasing international transits. That means, foreigners can enjoy visa-free transit in Guangdong, when holding valid travel documents of 53 countries, and connecting tickets with confirmed date (within 144 hours) and seat to a third country (region).
Advantage: The recent 144-Hour Transit Visa Exemption offers much more choices of entry & exit ports and longer duration of stay in Guangdong Province.
In China, Beijing, Xian,Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Xiamen and more major tourist cities also provide 144-Hour Visa Free Transit. You can get more related information in our China 144-Hour Visa-free Transit >>.
According to CEPA, Guangdong adopted the 6-day Visa-free Policy for group tour in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (粤港澳大区-GBA) since November 2000. Foreigners must meet requirements include: 1.) hold ordinary passports of any country (which established diplomatic relations with China); 2.) already in Hong Kong or Macau; 3.) join a group tour to Pearl River Delta region organized by travel agency legally registered in Hong Kong/Macau. (The policy is also valid for group tour to Shantou as long as they stay in administrative area of Shantou and exit from Shantou directly.) Pearl River Delta 6 Day Visa Free >>
Travelers can visit 10 cities in Pearl River Delta, Guangdong (including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing, and Huizhou) for not exceeding 6 days. Besides, whole group member can enter and exit from any port in Guangdong together. You can contact a local travel agency in Hong Kong/Macau to arrange such a Guangdong visa-free tour.
Hong Kong to Guangzhou Visa on Arrival: If you travel to Guangzhou from Hong Kong by joining a group tour, you don’t need to obtain a visa for entry. Hong Kong to Shenzhen Visa >>
Foreign visitors, in principle, should apply for Chinese Visa from Chinese Embassies, Consulates and authorized diplomatic missions abroad. But, China (Guangzhou) does offer Port Visa service for some special visitors on their arrival. Read more about China Visa on Arrival >>
1. Urgent entry for humanitarian reasons, or invited entry for emergency purpose (like business, engineering repairing work...);
2. Inbound tour group organized by authorized travel agency (should apply for a Chinese Group Tourist Visa);
3. Foreign students from overseas colleges and universities invited by China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone company for internship;
4. Foreign high-level talents recognized/sponsored/employed by authority (apply for China Talent - R Visa);
5. Foreigners holding working permit issued by the official (apply for China Work - Z Visa);
6. Foreign students recruited by primary and middle schools in Guangdong Province (apply for China Student - X1 Vis);
Tips: Except 24 Hour Direct Transit, 144 Hour Visa Free Transit and 6-Day Visa Free Group Tour in Guangdong, a Chinese Visa is required for citizens of US and France pre-arrival. Guangzhou Visa on Arrival is not valid for them.
The growing international connection demands Guangzhou a more open participation and greater role for port in Southern China. The long-awaited 144-Hour Visa-free Transit Policy was finally settled in Guangdong Province recently, which definitely give more flexible choices, excellent linking of different tourism resources in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Great Bay Area. Guangzhou as the major city in Guangdong, is the most-chosen transiting point for 144-Hour Transit Visa Exemption.
1. Transit Passengers must be Citizens of Specified 53 Countries
53 Countries Qualified for Guangzhou (Guangdong) 144 Hour Visa Free Transit (Enlarge to See Full List)
2. Transit Passengers must Hold Valid International Travel Document
The passport or international travel document should be valid at least for 3 months. The document presents the nationality whether qualifies for the visa-free layover or not. A valid visa for a third country is needed if requires.
3. Transit Passengers must Hold Connecting Tickets to A Third Country (Region)
Only certain international transit routes apply to the 144-Hour Visa-free Transit Policy. Please guarantee your departure and onward destination are different. (Note: Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan are considered third regions from mainland China. Hong Kong Visa / Macau Visa >> )
A. US > Guangzhou/Shenzhen/Jieyang (Chaoshan) > Hong Kong or Macau
B. Australia > Shenzhen > Guangzhou > Zhuhai > US
C. Hong Kong > Guangzhou > Zhuhai > Macau
4. Transit Passengers must Enter via Designated Ports
Now, Guangdong Province owns 3 ports of entry (including 1 port in Guangzhou) and 32 ports of exit, you can enter Guangzhou via Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport directly, or travel to Guangzhou after entry from Shenzhen or Jieyang (Chaoshan) in Guangdong.
Ports of Entry (3): Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, Jieyang Chaoshan Airport.
Ports of Exit (32)
Airports: Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, Jieyang Chaoshan International Airport, Meizhou Meixian Airport, Zhanjiang Airport; Railway Stations: Guangzhou East Railway Station (Tianhe Port), Dongguan Railway Station, Foshan Railway Station, Zhaoqing Railway Station; Highway Ports: Shenzhen Shatoujiao Port, Wenjindu Port, Huanggang Port, Luohu Port, Shenzhen Bay Port, Futian Port Zhuhai Gongbei Port, Zhuhai Hengqin Port; Harbors: Guangzhou Port, Nansha Port, LianHuaShan Port, Shenzhen Shekou Ferry Terminal, Shenzhen Fuyong Port; Zhuhai Jiuzhou Port, Wanzai Port, Wanshangang Port, Doumen Gang Port; Jiangmen Port, Heshan Bay Port; Foshan Gaoming Port, Rongqi Port; Dongguan Humen Port; Zhongshan Port.
Warm Tips: 1.) The official date of visa-free transit counts from the 00:00 on the next day after arrival. 2.) Visitors who want to stay longer, exit form other ports, or travel to other cities outside Guangdong Province have to apply for a China Visa for legal stay. How to Apply for a Chinese Visa>> .
①. Inform the air company that you will use the 144-Hour Visa-free Transit Policy when boarding.
②. Go to waiting area and fill in an Arrival Card (blue version), after landing at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.
③. Submit completed Arrival Card at the 144-Hour Visa-free Counter.
④. Obtain a Temporary Entry Permit stamped on your passport. (Don’t forget to tell the officer you don’t want to use the China Visa you already got.)
⑤. Claim your luggage and go through customs and immigration inspections.
⑥. Leave Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport to start your tour in Guangzhou and other cities in Guangdong.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (广州白云国际机场, IATA: CAN, ICAO: ZGGG) serves Guangzhou as one of the most busiest airport in World as well as one of the three portal ports in China. The airport is a base of China Southern Airlines, and Terminal 2 is mainly used for international flights. If you will take flights leaving China from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, please go to departure hall on Floor 3, Terminal 2. Flights to Guangzhou >>
Address: No.888, East Jichang Avenue, Huadu District, Guangzhou, Guangdong (广州市花都区机场大道东888号), about 30km (17mi)/ 1 hour’s driving distance to Yuexiu Park, city center area.
The airport is linked to city center by Metro Line 3, Taxi and Airport Express, and runs intercity bus to nearby Dongguan, Foshan, Jiangmen, Shunde, etc. How to Get to & around Guangzhou >>
Airport Transfer to Major Attractions:
◆ To Canton Tower: about 45km/50minutes’ ~ 1 hour’s driving;
◆ To Chimelong Safari Park: about 55km/1 hour’s driving;
◆ To Shamian Island: about about 35km/40~50 minutes’ driving;
◆ To Dr.Sun Yat-sen’s Memorial Hall: about 45km/1hour 20 minutes’ driving;
◆ To Chen Clan Ancestral Hall: about about 35km/1 hour’s driving;
◆ To Six Banyan Trees & Flower Pagoda (Liurong Temple): about 35km/1 hour’s driving;
At Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, passengers can go through connection formalities, 24-Hour Visa-free Transit, flight information inquiry, free transit hotel registration, and air ticket alteration service in transit counters of China Southern Airlines.
Who can enjoy free transit hotel provided by China Southern Airlines?
* Same-day Transfer: connection time ≥ 8 hours, a free single room and shuttle service between airport and hotel will be offered.
*Overnight-Transfer: connection time between 8~48 hours, a free single room and free breakfast & shuttle service will be offered.
Most free transit hotels are located near Baiyun Airport. Please visit https://www.csair.com/en/tourguide/transit_flow/flightsTwo_hub/ to see the qualifications, hotels information and detailed instructions!
Taking advantage of the 144-Hour Visa-free Transit Policy, foreigners can stay in Guangzhou and Guangdong for up to 6 days without a Chinese Visa. Based on your flight schedule, you can plan a essence tour in Guangzhou downtown shortly in 1 - 3 days or extend further trip to Shenzhen, Foshan and other cities in Guangdong for 4 - 6 days when having a long layover. It’s highly suggested to experience different types of attractions together in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, including the thriving economic cityscape, cultural and historical spots, local folk customs, cruise sighting, adventure, leisure resort and business trip to Canton Fair.
Top Recommended Attractions: Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Canton Tower, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, Yuexiu Park.
Since you can only spare one day to stay in Guangzhou, you are highly recommended to visit the landmarks in downtown area. They are located next to each other and convenient to go. Fans of Chinese traditional culture and history don’t miss the 4 mentioned sites. If time permits, view the epic Canton Tower at night. When you’re in Guangzhou, another must-do is tasting exquisite and delicious Cantonese (Guangdong) Cuisine. Remember set aside enough time for your next flight.
Top Recommended Attractions: Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Canton Tower, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, Yuexiu Park, Liurong Park, Kaiping Diaolou & Villages, Shamian Island.
144 Hour (6 days) is suitable for a short trip in Guangzhou or maybe a day tour to nearby cities. In Guangzhou, you could do a brief sightseeing tour to the top historic sites, parks in city center, as listed above. To relax and appreciate different charm of Guangzhou, trying the delicate Cantonese Cuisine, enjoying a night cruise with Canton Tower are most popular things to do.
Want to get more certain experience around? You may have a day tour to Shenzhen to witness outstanding achievement in the leading Economy Special Zone in China, or to Foshan - the cradle of Cantonese Opera, Chinese Martial Arts (Southern School), Chinese Dragon & Lion Dance and major center of Guangzhou culture. Even you can visit Zhuhai to experience a engineering miracle, world’s longest cross-sea bridge - Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, and travel to Hong Kong afterwards.
Most Popualr Guangzhou Visa-free Tours:
Top Recommended Attractions: Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Yuexiu Park, Canton Tower, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, Liurong Temple, Kaiping Diaolou & Villages, Chimelong Safari Park, Baiyun Mountain, Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou Opera House.
Benefiting from twice visa-free duration than former 72 Hour Transit Visa-free, travelers can travel further beyond Guangzhou. Thanks to the well-developed transportation, highway and railway, tourists can directly move forward to Hong Kong, Macau without a backtrack route.
For a 6-day stopover, Guangzhou provides different themed tours for you to fully discover its glamour. After the Canton Fair, business visitors can spend free time on visiting iconic spots in Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Or, you can get a vacation in Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Zhuhai and take a ride though Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge to Macau and Hong Kong. For family travelers, it’s a good idea to make a side trip to Shenzhen to view Window of the World assembling multinational fascinating architectures, and enjoy family happy hours in Chimelong Ocean Kingdom with kids and experience local leisure life in Zhuhai. Culture lovers may visit major sites in Guangzhou downtown, extend journey to Foshan, Kaiping Diaolou, Panyu and taking Guangzhou-Hong Kong Through Train to Hong Kong. Tracing delicious Cantonese Cuisine? Chaoshan, Nan’ao Island and Guangzhou are most favored destinations for your taste buds.
Most Popualr Guangzhou Visa-free Tours:
China Discovery is a professional and experienced travel companion who offers high-value and worry-free tours for you. We not only design ideal itinerary covering sightseeing, dining, transfer and hotel, but also can provide any support & help you need to travel to China. Except Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Xiamen, Kunming, Wuhan, Nanjing, Qingdao are also 144-Hour Visa-free Transit cities. If you have a layover in Guilin, Harbin, Changsha, 72-Hour Visa-free Transit is available for you. Without applying a visa, you can fulfill your dream tour to China, visiting the great cultural, historical, natural landscape will. If you are interested in China visa-free tour in Guangzhou and other qualified cities, just contact us, tell your interests and travel plans, we could arrange a perfect Guangzhou city tour and Guangdong tour packages as you requested.
Most Popular China Visa-free Tours:
Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.Customize a Trip
Following are latest questions and answers from our webusers and customers. You can learn many useful information from the discussion and cases. You can also join in the discussions or ask your own question. Our experts will help you ASAP.
[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >