Last updated: 12:16 AM ET, Thu July 02 2015 Makes Visa-Free Travel in China a Breeze

Tour Operator | | Janeen Christoff | June 26, 2015 Makes Visa-Free Travel in China a Breeze

PHOTO: Shanghai. Courtesy Thinkstock.

For U.S. travelers, China is one country where visitors still need to acquire a visa to visit, but the country has recently enacted a few ways that Americans can go visa-free and is making the process even simpler by providing tours that facilitate this type of travel. If you are looking to go to mainland China visa free, you will only have about 72 hours and you are confined to certain cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu. Currently, visitors from 45 countries can partake of this 72-hour, visa-free entry to China with confirmed onward air tickets.

See the Sights offers the 72 Hours Visa Free Highlights Tour in each of the three cities where this type of entry is permitted, making them ideal options for short getaways or stopovers for travelers. All tour participants are met at the airport and escorted to their hotel. The tours include a city tours, accommodations and optional dinner as well as airport transfers.

In Beijing, the tour includes sights such as the Great Wall, a visit to a jade factory, a hutong tour, an optional Peking duck dinner and kung fu show, a visit to Tiananmen Square and a stroll through the Forbidden City.

The visa-free Chengdu tour visits Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a stroll along Jinli Old Street for local snacks and cultural experiences and an optional Sichuan Opera performance in the evening.

Shanghai tours visit the famous Bund, Shanghai’s old town, Nanjing Road, Xintiandi, a silk carpet factory, the Shanghai Museum and optional evening choices that include an acrobatic show or a Huangpu River night cruise.

Rules of the Road

The 72-hour visa rule came into effect in China in 2013. Applications for visa-free travel can be filled out and are granted on the day of travel at the airports of each of the three cities — Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai. The 72-hour timeframe begins when travelers receive their permits. Visitors will need to register their permits at a police station or registration of the visa can be handled at hotel check-in when traveling with

The visa only applies on air tickets that are “stopovers” and not tickets that are flying roundtrip, for example, flying Hong Kong to Beijing and back to Hong Kong. They are also only valid for air travel. In addition, travel is restricted to the boundaries of the city in which the visa is granted and cannot be used to travel to other cities within China. Considering all of the rules,’s visa-free tours are a great option, making visa-free travel in China a breeze.

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