Asked by Zsófia Kovács-Hohler from Hungary | Jun. 16, 2019 01:43
About:24-Hour Visa-Free Transit

Transit in Urumqi and Guangzhou

I’m Hungarian citizen. I will travel from Vienna through China to Bali. The flight has a technical stopover in Urumqi (from 7:55 until 9:25 on the 26th of June) and a normal stopover in Guangzhou (from 14:30 until 18:15 on the 26th of June)
Please confirm, that I don’t need any transit visa.
Thank you in advance! Best regards, Zsófia

Answers (73)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 16, 2019 03:23
Zsófia, your case is specific and I will tell you why. I have to start from Urumqi that has very specific transit rules:

- One is allowed to make a transit in Urumqi only if the entire transit time between two international flights is less than 2 hours
- One is allowed to make a transit in Urumqi only if the transit is between two international flights while the transits between international to domestic and domestic to international flights are not allowed for visa free transit

Now, your flight connections are indeed less than two hours. This is fine. Anyway, your flight that you will arrive to Urumqi is international, but the portion between Urumqi to Guangzhou is a domestic one. So, strictly speaking, you would need a transit visa obtained in advance, but I can't say that I'm entirely confident in that necessity since you are flying under the same flight number, by the same aircraft, i.e. CZ6022 that is, logically looking, international in its entirety and also sold as a such all the way from Vienna to Guangzhou.

I have to admit, you are in very specific situation and I just hope that also other forum members will take part in this subject and elaborate what should be done. Also, I know that you will just waste your time by asking customer service of the airline and also by contacting the Chinese embassy. You know, what... If some of our other forum members does not appear here, I would really advise you to obtain a Chinese transit visa (G) before your departure and in case that you will return by the same flight combination, to obtain double entry transit visa. I know that this is something really annoying, but do that for the peace of mind and to avoid any possible misunderstandings and problems.
Answered by Judd | Jun. 16, 2019 06:45
CZ6022 perfectly illustrates the difference between a "direct" and a "non-stop" flight. It's sold as a "direct" Vienna to Guangzhou service with a single flight number, but the key thing here is that it is not "non-stop". I know I wouldn't risk that route without a visa, and you still have a few days to get one.
Answered by Zsófia from Hungary | Jun. 16, 2019 22:54
Thank you for your answer!
I read that comment also here:
“Those who transfer in two cities of China within 24 hours are also available to enjoy this policy. For instance, if one’s trip is Los Angeles – Beijing – Kunming – Chiengmai and the time in China is less than 24 hours, the passenger can enjoy the direct transit."”
What do you mean about this?
Thank you!
Answered by Linda from USA | Jun. 17, 2019 01:57
It means that you can enjoy 24h visa exemption transit if your stay in mainland China is less than 24 hours.
Answered by Zsófi from Hungary | Jun. 17, 2019 02:36
Thank you!
Isn't it true also in my case?
I have interpreted so, that within 24 hours I can also transit in two cities of China.
Am I not right?
Thank you for the advises in advance!
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 17, 2019 05:20
Zsófia, this is not true in your case because you are flying via Urumqi where this rule is not valid. If I were you I would be already in Chinese embassy/consulate and obtain there transit (G) visa because you could be bitterly surprised by denying of boarding or even denying your continuation of flight in Urumqi. Please, obtain double entry transit visa in case that you are returning by the same route. Please, make yourself a favor.
Answered by Zsófia from Hungary | Jun. 17, 2019 06:30
Thank you! I am already filling the form...
Do I need two entries or a multiple?
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 17, 2019 08:26
Two entries since you will be traveling through China twice... Once on your way to Bali and once on your way back.
Answered by Hogi from Germany | Jun. 22, 2019 13:06
I'm going to take the same route in July and so far the consensus in my research is, that no Visa is needed except for certain passport holders from mainly Islamic countries. The explanation I got so far is, that as long the stop in Urumqi is shorter than 2h, you will also get a 24h transit TWOV in Urumqi, as long your total stay in China is less than 24h in total. The only thing that is not possible is to get a 24h TWOV for Urumqi itself, to leave the airport etc.
It would be also quite idiotic by China Southern, to start a new route like that and not to ensure, that the majority of passengers actually can transit easily. If you would really need a transit Visa, probably the majority of passengers wouldn't be allowed to board the plane.
Anyways, the flight happened three times already, so I guess there should be reports coming up. A passenger in another forum successfully took a similar route from Istanbul - Urumqi - Guangzhou - Sydney last September without problems.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 23, 2019 07:46
Part two:

I perfectly understand your logic and you will really hardly encounter any complaints from the side of passengers using this flight both just for transit through China if they have transit visas or to reach Urumqi or Guangzhou as their final destinations. Of course, the complaints will be unexistant until one day when you try to make a check-in in Vienna and realize that you will be denied boarding or even worse, you can maybe skip Austrians, but you will be stopped in Urumqi and asked to book the first flight out of China. Then you will be the first one that will write a complain just because something seemed to be logical. For that reason, I really suggest you to obtain your transit visa and to travel with peace of mind.
Answered by Hogi from Germany | Jun. 23, 2019 13:22
The point is, it has nothing to do with logic, just hard facts and rules. I agree of course, it doesn't make any sense logically either, but also the rules are kinda clear. As long the layover is below 2h and the total transit time in China less than 24h, it should be fine. The first step is to get out of Urumqi in 2h with an international confirmed destination. There is no way to stay in Urumqi, leave the airport or get a 24/72/144h TWOV for Urumqi. BUT you will get a general 24h transit allowance for the rest of China. With that you can continue to Guangzhou, have the layover and continue to the final destination. The whole China part has to be done in under 24h. You also cannot get a 72h TWOV in Guangzhou with that connection. Even China Southern is stating this on their Chinese booking website. So these are the facts stated in Timatic or confirmed by people using that specific connection, apart from logic. I wouldn't mind to get a Chinese Visa, but 160€ extra when it's not really needed is quite an investment.
Answered by Hogi from Germany | Jun. 23, 2019 13:28
PS: the even more ridiculous part is, that only Timatic states these specific Transit rules for Urumqi. The Chinese embassies are totally clueless, their Visa service doesn't know either and also the airline doesn't know. Everyone is referring to ask the other.
Answered by Hogi from Germany | Jun. 23, 2019 13:36
PPS: I even read reports from people with a stopover over 2h in Urumqi, that China Southern collects the passengers without Visa in a lounge before immigration until 2h before the next flight and let them pass immigration just then. Also the only reported problem with that connection were the two girls from NZ, who thought they would get a 72h TWOV in Beijing after their stop in Urumqi. But this is definitely not possible, the max 24h rule strictly applies.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 24, 2019 13:15
Part one (a):

Hogi, you didn't insert one important detail into your equation. That detail says that the largest majority of passengers using this particular flight have Chinese tourist or similar visas obtained in advance because their destination is in Urumqi and/or Guangzhou or in the rest of mainland China. Passengers in transit through China, using Chinese carriers are relatively new circumstance and that was the reason for adaptation of Chinese visa free rules during the last decade or so. When you understand that most passengers on that particular flight, i.e. Vienna - Urumqi - Guangzhou are not passengers in transit, but passenger with their pre-arranged visas, then you will understand why don't they complain.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 24, 2019 13:16
Part one (b)

Chinese immigration law is simple. All international passengers cross the immigration upon the very first arrival point in China, so in this case in Urumqi. All those who have their pre-arranged visas of different types, mostly tourist or similar, just proceed on the same flight which at that very moment becomes domestic portion of international flight Vienna - Urumqi - Guangzhou. Please, be informed that making a connection between international to domestic flights in Urumqi is not allowed according to the law. Also, you should have in mind the fact that the portion Urumqi - Guangzhou is sold in China as purely domestic flight, i.e. just visit any Chinese website that sells domestic flights only and you will see that they are selling the portion of Urumqi - Guangzhou CZ6022 flight as purely domestic. The same thing you can also see on every global ticket booking website.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 24, 2019 13:26
The system of the website simply didn't allow me to post my first posts and has allowed my second part on Saturday :(... OK, now everything I though to tell on the subject is here and I still insist on compulsory transit visa in case that you or anybody else intend to use this flight for his/her final destination outside China. Simply speaking, I firmly believe that Urumqi is impassable obstacle in any option where behind Urumqi there is one more Chinese airport. One or two examples of passengers that have successfully managed to use this or similar flights are a non indicator because they are more the exceptions than the rule.

Anyway, trust me, I wish if you were right. I really wish so because this would be something totally different in the entire structure that was valid so far and also it would allow us, the volunteers on this website to be certain about this particular "Urumqi course" :).

Hogi, I would be more than grateful I you could just return here after your travel to tell us about your experience and also try to see whether are there more passengers traveling as you will. This is so important for all prospective travelers on similar routes. Thanks a lot!
Answered by Mario from New Zealand | Jun. 26, 2019 02:57
Hi Zupan, Im flying the opposite route: Auckland - Guangzhou - Urumqi - Vienna. Does what you have described apply to this also? Thank you
Answered by Mario from New Zealand | Jun. 26, 2019 03:05
I am flying from Auckland to Guangzhou, layover 3.5 hours, then Urumqi where layover is 1.5 hour, and then Vienna. Everything within 24 hours. Just one way ticket as I am leaving New Zealand. Has anybody experienced any problems with Urumqi? Is visa needed in my case? Thank you
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 26, 2019 09:43
Mario, the situation regarding Urumqi airport is a bit situation in a grey zone because of several rules that are specific for Urumqi airport. As you can see, there are several different opinions and I cannot deny Hogi's logical reasoning, but I'm afraid that the Chinese authorities in Urumqi could interpret your layover in Urumqi as a domestic to international connection and that is not allowed under the present set of rules. Anyway, it is also possible that they have received strict orders to consider the entire route from Guangzhou to Vienna and vice versa as one same flight because even the equipment is not changed in Urumqi, i.e. you travel all the way by the same plane. Honestly speaking, I just hope that this detail will be cleared in the very soon future, but until then, I honestly suggest obtaining in advance of Chinese transit (G) visa.
Answered by Zsófi from Hungary | Jun. 26, 2019 23:51
Hi all,
my visa was checked yesterday in Urumqi. I’m not sure, that I could countinue my travel without the visa.
So I also recommend to have it!
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 27, 2019 01:05
Zsófia, thank you so much. The feedback received by the real people traveling on the real itinerary through one of the most delicate airports of China, as far as different specific rules are concerned, is the real treasure for all future travelers through the same itinerary. Could you, please, just confirm that the others you have talked to and also those standing in the queue that you have seen, have also been in possession of valid Chinese visas.
Answered by Zsófi from Hungary | Jun. 27, 2019 02:15
Unfortunatly, I don’t know. About 90% of the people on that flight were Chinese citizens.
On the way to home in July I will ask some Europian travellers if I meet them.
Answered by Hogi from Germany | Jul. 02, 2019 07:21
Just a quick update on what I have researched so far (which sadly isn´t much hard facts still):

I called the chinese embassy in Berlin (they don´t know, I should call the consulate), called the consulate (they don´t know, I should call the visa service), called the Visa service (they don´t know, I should call the immigration in Guangzhou), called the immigration in Guangzhou (they claimed as long as the transit time is below 24h I don´t need a visa). Didn´t trust that answer alone, so called China Southern in China (they don´t know, I should call the immigration in Urumqi), called the immigration in Urumqi (no answer, since the hotline is always busy). My last resort was to call the airport in Vienna on a day when the flight is happening. Since they aren´t able to connect an external phone call to the check in counters, I asked the very nice hotline lady to call internally and ask on my behalf, which she did. The check in manager of China Southern said, as long all flights are with China Southern, I don´t need a visa for China, he just advised to have a visa for Vietnam. So we will see, I will report what happens...
Answered by ZUPAN | Jul. 02, 2019 10:29
Hogi, thank you for all your efforts. I wish so much you are right about this detail. It will mean a lot for all the people that come here asking for an advice as they would be free from obtaining an unnecessary visa and spending their time and money when taking those flights that transits via Urumqi.
Answered by Anna from Czech Republic | Jul. 03, 2019 10:14
I am so happy for this thread and I will check on it every day now. I will fly the same route - Vienna (-Urumqi) - Guangzhou and then to Australia in September. I honestly hope that the authorities will spot the problem soon and put out a statement or something, tell us what to do. Until then, thank you to anybody who puts any information about this flight online.
Answered by Hogi from Germany | Jul. 06, 2019 00:21
Just a short report: I successfully flew the route Vienna -Urumqi (stopover 1h45m) - Guangzhou (layover 7h40m) - Hanoi on the 4th. Baggage was checked through from Vienna to Hanoi, so no collecting in between. Most people on that flight were Chinese, maybe 20 Western people, seemed like none of them having a transit Visa for China, most people I spoke to were not even aware of that stopover at all. As expected everyone had to leave the plane in URC and we were directed by China southern staff towards a small immigration point. Everyone got a tag by the staff that we're in transit. At immigration we got a stamp for a temporary entry permit, valid for 24h. Some passports of some westerners were given to an immigration supervisor who looked at all the Visa stamps and asked some questions, but nobody was denied to continue the journey. After that a security check and back to the same gate where we left the plane. We arrived in Guangzhou as domestic arrival, ending up directly inside the baggage claim area. So it was possibly to leave the airport freely if you'd like. It seems that China Southern got some kind of special agreement with the immigration in Urumqi, as long the stopover is below 2h and the total transit time in China is below 24h. That's probably why there's also no hard evidence to find. I just can report that it worked perfectly and I'm happy I had not spent 125€ for an unnecessary Visa.
Answered by Anna from Czech Republic | Jul. 06, 2019 01:01
Hogi, thank you so much! I hope nothing changes till september so we can also fly visa free.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jul. 06, 2019 08:04
Hogi the brave :)

Thanks Hogi for your first hand experience with the transit that included Urumqi and another one mainland Chinese city. What to say!? Now we know that this is possible and will be able to advise the people in the proper way. Indeed, this is very specific itinerary because Urumqi has its very rigid and specific rules and it really seems that China Southern has some kind of very special agreement with Urumqi airport in order that both segments of the flight Vienna - Urumqi - Guangzhou are considered international in their nature.

Thanks once again and have a nice holiday in Vietnam.
Answered by Hogi from Germany | Jul. 11, 2019 06:36
I generally think, the rules stated in Timatic are correct for any other combination of airlines. My guess is as I said, that China Southern has a special agreement with immigration for their flights. They make sure that nobody can leave the airport and passengers really just get guided to the transit area also without having to change terminals, since Terminal 3 is for CZ only. That also explains why there are no hard facts to be found about the whole issue and nobody actually really knows.
Answered by Eric from Hungary,European Union | Jul. 12, 2019 08:32
Thank you! I will transit with the same route soon from Vienna-BKK 2stops in china Urumqi and Guanzhou within less than 24hours leave china - to go to thailand.
If not nessecery i dont want to spend 100$ for visa process just bc the flight re-fuel in Urumqi or whatever they stop...

If anybody went throug the same fleght CZ6022 from Vienna- without visa please write for us
Thsnks, Hogi for let us know your experiences
Answered by John Doe | Jul. 12, 2019 16:21
Hogi is right and this was the arrangement CZ had with Shenzhen before they allowed TWOV in Timatic. However there are consequences if the traveler is deemed inadmissible by immigration for whatever reason: a Russian guy with no record of any kind in Mainland China traveled MEL-SZX-SVO last August and was sent back to MEL after a few hours of detention (during which time immigration helped themselves to the contents of his laptop and phone) even when he was simply trying to return to Russia. IIRC he mentioned that most of the Russians on the MEL-SZX flight went through SZX fine but he and a few others were sent back with no reason given.

My advice here is to analyze your risk since Hogi had made it clear that immigration does inspect travel records, and if you have been to any Central Asian/Middle Eastern country on the same passport (yes, Turkey is one of them) then you'd better to get a visa to be safe than sorry. Of course, even if you have the record then it may still be OK to travel but do expect grilling at the border, and don't argue when the decision is made to prevent further escalation of the situation (just FYI Xinjiang is not one of the places I would even think about visiting for now).
Answered by Petr from Česká republika | Aug. 07, 2019 09:45
Something new? Thanks Petr
Answered by ZUPAN | Aug. 07, 2019 13:00
There is really nothing new because people normally use the flights CZ6022 and CZ6021 i.e. Vienna - Urumqi - Guangzhou and vice versa using 24 hour visa free transit. This appears to be quite a popular route used by people from Austria, Czechia and Slovakia because they easily make direct connections in Guangzhou toward tens of destinations in Southeast Asia. The best detail is the price that is very competitive and also the fact that from Guangzhou you can reach directly many smaller destinations that European or Persian Gulf carriers do not serve.
Answered by Hogi from Germany | Aug. 08, 2019 11:53
Just to finish the story of my whole experience, flight back from Hanoi - Guangzhou - Urumqi - Vienna worked the same way without any events. All passengers had to get a temporary 24h entry permit in Guangzhou, domestic flight to Urumqi and immigration round to officially leave China there. Nobody had any problems, the whole process was very smooth. I guess the story about the Russians might have happened at any airport in China without a visa, since the immigration officer always have the final say who gets into the country or not. But generally the rule seems to be: Whole transit time in China below 24h and everything should work out, except for certain passports.
Answered by Feisal from Indonesia | Oct. 18, 2019 20:38
I am an Indonesian student in Hungary. I will fly on Nov 7 with China Southern transitting in Urumqi (2 hr 25 mins) and Guangzhou (2 hr). The return flight in January has the same route but the transit time in Urumqi will be 2 hour sharp. Do you think I need transit visa just for this additional 25 minutes beyond the 2 hour transit restriction in Urumqi? :(
Answered by Feisal from Indonesia | Oct. 18, 2019 20:39
I will fly from Vienna.
Answered by ZUPAN | Oct. 19, 2019 06:11
Unfortunately, the rule for 24 hour visa free transit is clear and it also encompasses the rule of 2 hours sharp in Urumqi. Looking at the mentioned rules, your first itinerary is not eligible for 24 hour TWOV because of just 25 minutes over the allowed maximum time. Anyway, there are some experiences, although I really cannot take them as granted, that when flying on China Southern single (through) ticket, you are allowed to have even longer layover in Urumqi and that such layovers are perfectly accepted by airport ground staff in Vienna and also by Chinese immigration authorities in Urumqi because of some kind of special deal that China Southern has with Urumqi authorities.

Whether this is true or not, it is hard to say and in your case, beside the mentioned experiences, I would suggest you to obtain a Chinese transit (G) visa in advance. It would be enough to obtain a single entry G visa. By the way, you will be able to talk in person with Chinese immigration authorities in Urumqi and you can asked them about the real situation regarding the layovers that are longer than 2 hours, but where the passengers are traveling on a single (through) ticket. Your feedback would be of invaluable contribution to so many travelers who diligently apply for their transit visas that are maybe entirely redundant.
Answered by Feisal from Indonesia | Oct. 19, 2019 11:24
I think I will take the risk. It would be really stupid for China Southern to sell tickets without notifying the passengers about this issue and having the passengers to pay additional 100+ euro for transit visa for this 25 minute transit. Assuming that the flights to be on time, I will try to be the last passenger stepping out of the plane in Urumqi. Hopefully, it will take my 25 minutes. :P. I will post an update here after my flight. Wish me luck.
Answered by George | Oct. 19, 2019 11:56
I wish you luck. But the time you get off the plane will make absolutely no difference. Immigration works on scheduled arrival and departure times, not actual time. I hope China Southern have some agreement with the Chinese authorities, but they have no obligation at all to advise you about visas.
Answered by ZUPAN | Oct. 19, 2019 12:24
This is very courageous decision and I honestly wish you luck :)))

Feisal, you are absolutely right about your logic of obtaining a visa that is really outrageous expense for just a simple and straightforward transit. Also, I definitely agree that China Southern obviously covers those, longer than 2 hours, layovers in Urumqi because this is of their best interest, although they simple don't want to publish it publicly because that would mean that they are breaking the existing rules for visa free transit in Urumqi. It is all, I assume based on discretionary silence agree between China Southern and Chinese immigration.

Once again, I wish you luck and please know that your feedback will be of really great value.

Feisal, all the best!
Answered by Feisal from Indonesia | Oct. 21, 2019 03:05
I recently sent an email to the Chinese embassy in Budapest (where I live) describing my itinerary including the 2,5 hour transit in Urumqi, here is their answer:

Hello. If the total flying and staying time inside China is within 24 hours, you can have visa-free transit at multiple cities.

驻匈牙利使馆领事部/A Kínai Nagykövetség Konzuli Osztálya
地址/CIM:1068 Budapest, Benczúr utca 18
Answered by ZUPAN | Oct. 21, 2019 13:50
Honestly speaking, the embassies are not the best place to look after an answer regarding the visa free transit policy because the latter belongs to entirely different ministry. However, they might be right regarding your query because the rumors are spreading that Urumqi has, in reality, ceased to be strictly limited to 2 hours only because there is very openly presented intention by the Chinese government to develop this particular airport, like they have done with Kunming in the Chinese southwest, to entirely new level by developing China Southern flights to Central Asia and parts of Europe (Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe). Allegedly, the flight introduced by China Southern to Vienna that has gained instant popularity is the first test to see how will the market react on this Urumqi bound flight. So far, there are so many travelers from, of course, Austria, but more an more also from the neighboring eastern European countries like Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia.

Feisal, just bring this email that you have received from the embassy and good luck once again :)
Answered by Jan from Slovakia | Nov. 08, 2019 00:19
Hi Feisel, just wondering if you got through without visa. Friend of mine is traveling the same route two weeks from now with 2h10m technical stop in Urumqi. He wants to go without visa too, would be great if you gave an update if it is possible, when the stop in Urumqi is longer than 2h.
Also he has a note on the e-ticket saying "Technical stop at Urumqi, China for 2 hours 10 minutes between Vienna and Guangzhou. Please check if you also need a visa for the technical stop."
This sounds strange to me, as per my understanding, passengers do not leave the aircraft during technical stop. So who would check the visa if you stayed on board?
Also thanks to everyone who posted in this thread, the info is really helpful.
Answered by Nathalie from Austria | Nov. 08, 2019 04:08
I am also traveling to Jakarta from Vienna via Urumqi-Guangzhou in 2 weeks! Will appreciate any kind of info regarding visa in Urumqi for this 2 hours and 10 minutes transit.. Thanks!
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 09, 2019 02:38
Part one:

My dear people, this is a million dollar question. Unfortunately, we don't have an answer yet and, trust me, there are dozens of passengers who intend to use exactly this flight via Urumqi and Guangzhou and all of them would like to know definitely if this flight itinerary is eligible for 24 hour visa free transit or not.

So far, this flight was eligible for 24 TWOV, but also it had only 2 hours of layover in Urumqi and that was perfectly within the rules imposed by Urumqi airport authorities. Now, China Southern has extended the layover from 2 hours to 2 hours and 10 minutes and all the passengers have remained puzzled what will they do now. They simply don't want to go through the hassle of obtaining a Chinese transit (G) visa because this process takes time and money and all of that for just 10 minutes.
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 09, 2019 02:38
Part two:

In reality, we are waiting the very first experiences by the people who have decided to try to use 24 hour visa free transit on this itinerary. They are quite courageous, but they say that they are guided by their logic and by a discrete information that China Southern has special position in Urumqi airport along with the fact that the Chinese authorities turn the blind eye in the cases where the passengers using China Southern flights exceed the allowed 2 hours of layover in Urumqi. Hopefully, we will receive those experiences very soon, so you can just wait and see if they will be successful.

There is only, but definitely the only way that we find out the reality about this particular flight and that is that somebody visits Vienna airport when the check-in process for this flight is in progress and to ask exactly this question to the airport staff. If there is somebody who can do that, it would be the greatest contribution for so many passengers on this route. The check-in process on this route in Vienna airport is in the afternoon hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Answered by Jan from Slovakia | Nov. 11, 2019 01:39
Friend of mine contacted the consulate of China in Slovakia and they replied that if the aircraft and flight number does not change in Urumqi (which does not) and the flight continues to Guangzhou as international, they don't need visa and are eligible for 24h TWOV.
However, you guys mentioned earlier in this thread that Urumqui-Guanghzou portion is, in fact, domestic. In this case, the visa is needed. I am definitely not the expert on the topic, but it seems strange that flight changes from international to domestic, but the flight number does not change.
Anyway, he is going to take the risk and go without visa. He is going next week on Tuesday if I remember correctly. I will post any update from him as soon as I get it.
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 11, 2019 12:21
Jan, the best thing that could have happened is the fact that Feisal has managed to travel from Vienna via Urumqi and Guangzhou to Jakarta by using 24 hour visa free transit :) He has described his experience on another thread yesterday and you can read it on the thread titled: "Transit Visa" and the author is "Anas from Canada".

Feisal's experience is even more significant because he was not transiting on CZ6022, but he took CZ6022 until Urumqi, then a domestic China Southern flight to Guangzhou and after that a flight to Jakarta!

Now, it really appears that the the future travelers on Urumqi bound flights will be eligible even with the mentioned 10 minutes more than formally allowed for Urumqi airport.

At the time being, we have Feisal's first hand experience and hopefully we will have several more within a week or so. If they are successful and now i really don't doubt it, we will be able to instruct people taking this route to rely on 24 hours visa free transit with absolute peace of mind.

Jan, please, just don't forget to visit this thread. It is really a favor to tens of our travelers who can save quite an amount of money that would be spent on a visa. Thanks in advance :)
Answered by Feisal from Indonesia | Nov. 12, 2019 13:09
I am sorry I thought I posted my experience on this thread, apparently it was on a different thread. Here is my experience and I hope this help future travellers going the same route:

I arrived in Jakarta safely on Friday (8 Nov 2019). I was in Urumqi for more than 2 hours since I had to change my flight there from international (cz6022) to domestic (cz387) heading for Guangzhou. I had to go out from the international terminal to collect my luggages and check them back in at the domestic terminal.

Apparently the first flight (cz6022) was heading for Guangzhou as well, however when I booked the ticket, the system gave me these flights. I don't know why. There were three other people who had the same problem.

Other people who flew to Guangzhou on the same flight (cz6022) only went out of the plane to get in line for an immigration stamp, then went back up to the departure gate.

The security and immigration in Urumqi was quite strict. My wife was asked to remove her head covering. Officers are far from friendly and most of them do not speak English. The immigration process took a long time. It was not a pleasant experience but we got the 24 hour transit without visa.

When checking in my luggages in Urumqi, I was told to collect them directly in Jakarta. The trip from Urumqi-Guangzhou-Jakarta was uneventful.

Conclusion: The 2 hour transit limit in Urumqi is apparently not being enforced. As long as your transit(s) and flight(s) within China is below 24 hours, you will be fine.
Answered by Jan from Slovakia | Nov. 13, 2019 05:38
Those are some good news. Thanks for your update Feisal!
Answered by David N from Austria | Nov. 14, 2019 15:38

I'm planning a similar trip but i also have a long connection time in Guangzhou of 19h35m on my route back to vienna.
So - if the domestic part of flight CZ6021 is really considered domestic - I am in China for the 19h35m + about 5h10m flight time from Guangzhou to Urumqi + 1h50m. So I am in China for 26h35m which is more than the 24h-visa-free-transit.

So I will need a transit-visa for this connection, right?
Or is the CZ6021 considered international and I don't need a visa?

Thanks for your help!

Friday, 01 May 2020

Connecting time 19h35m

Saturday, 02 May 2020
09:30 | 02 May Saturday, 02 May 2020 GUANGZHOU , BAIYUN INTERNATIONAL (CAN) Terminal 2
Stopover: Urumqi (URC)
17:30 | 02 May Saturday, 02 May 2020 VIENNA , VIENNA INTERNATIONAL (VIE)
Answered by ZUPAN | Nov. 15, 2019 11:29
David, unfortunately, you will have to obtain a Chinese transit (G) visa in advance. You cannot rely on 24 hour visa free transit because the basic rule of this visa free transit option clearly states: A passenger is allowed to have a 24 hour visa free transit through China, counting from the first scheduled arrival (in your case in Guangzhou), until the final scheduled departure from China (in your case from Urumqi).

Also, a specific policy of air transport within China also says that there cannot exists an international flight between the two Chinese airports. So, although a flight CZ6021 is: Guangzhou - Urumqi - Vienna is aimed for international passengers, its portion between Guangzhou and Urumqi is considered a domestic portion of an international flight. In other words, if a Chinese citizens or a visitor to China wants to travel between Guangzhou and Urumqi, he/she can perfectly take this portion as domestic flight, right on CZ6021. This is possible because you will not clear the exit immigration in Guangzhou, but in Urumqi!

I hope, I have helped you understand this subject at least a bit more clear :)
Answered by Miki from CZ | Nov. 19, 2019 09:25
Hi Jan, today is Tuesday, so i guess you tell us news about your friend's stop in Urumqi for 2:10h. :-) thanks
Answered by Jan from Slovakia | Nov. 20, 2019 04:57
Hello Miki, I didn't hear from him yet, but I guess it is because Facebook is blocked in China and we communicate mostly through FB messenger. He should reach his final destination, Cebu, tomorrow. I will post here as soon as I hear from him.
Answered by Jan from Slovakia | Nov. 21, 2019 06:13
So my friend arrived safe and sound in Cebu. Getting transit visa in advance is not needed (he is a holder of EU passport). According to him there is not even 24h limit- he got stamp with a date and is supposed to leave China next day. So based on this, technically, you could stay in China for 48 hours, but I am not sure about this.
As mentioned above, the security and immigration in Urumqi was quite strict. They selected passengers with Egypt visa stamp, took them aside and checked some of the passports with the embassy. Also, approximately 10 people were taken through the airport because of their checked baggage. Friend of mine had external battery charger and had to remove it. So it was 'tough' but without problems with visa.

Bottom line: traveling with China Southern CZ6022 (Vienna-Urumqi-Guanghzou) with 2h10m Urumqi layover (more than 2 hours) is possible for EU passport holders without obtaining transit visa in advance.

Safe travels to everyone!
Answered by Miki from CZ | Nov. 21, 2019 10:02
Thanks a lot for your information. Im gonna buy same tickets now :P
Answered by Albacookie from Austria | Dec. 18, 2019 13:34
Wow I‘m so happy to have found this thread! Thx guys :)

Is it possible to leave the airport with this 24-h Visa? I have a 17 hour stopover on the way back. I‘d like to look around Guangzhou a bit...
Answered by ZUPAN | Dec. 19, 2019 09:47
Albacookie, glad to see you here :)

Well, I assume that you will fly by China Southern from some Southeast Asian country via Guangzhou and Urumqi to Vienna and your flight from Guangzhou via Urumqi will be on CZ6021. Right?

So, if I'm right, you have to calculate your entire transit time in China, from your first scheduled landing, in your case in Guangzhou, until your final scheduled departure from China, in your case from Urumqi. If your entire transit time is less than 24 hours long, you will be eligible for 24 hour visa free transit and you don't need any kind of visa. Quite the contrary, if your entire transit time is longer than 24 hours, you will need a Chinese transit (G) visa obtained in advance.

If you have 17 hours layover in Guangzhou, you have to add 5 hours and 25 minutes of flight between Guangzhou and Urumqi and 2 hours of layover there. The total transit time in your case will, unfortunately, exceed 24 hours for just 25 minutes, of course if you have mentioned exactly the length of your layover in Guangzhou.

Please, could you calculate your entire transit time in China once again, very carefully and after you do that, just write your message here, so that we can proceed on discussing your eligibility for 24 hour visa free transit and also for your ability to be allowed to exit the airport in Guangzhou. I can just hope that your total transit time will be ultimately within 24 hour time frame.
Answered by Checker from EU | Dec. 29, 2019 07:40
your stamp in passport work from 00:00 arrival day to next day 23:59. teoretically you have 48h for transit. I check multitrasit many times many airports during last 6 years. Always no problem.
Answered by check from EU | Dec. 29, 2019 07:46
i mean china free transit
Answered by ZUPAN | Dec. 29, 2019 15:21
Part one:

Checker, thanks for your first hand experience. Also, we had previous first hand experience that 24 hour visa free transit is fine even for longer transits within China. Anyway, this is not a problem and also it is perfectly fine when you are already in China because they have demonstrated quite a flexibility. The problem is in the airport staff of the airports in the countries from where you will travel to China or better through China using multiple stop transit that is officially called 24 hour visa free transit. Usually, it is them that prevent people from traveling through China even when they are perfectly within the, let's say, conservative interpretation of this specific rule. We are encountering such examples and the latest one was with Philippine citizen who was denied boarding in Manila by Air Asia airport staff because she had two stops in China and her total transit time was less than 24 hours long. Poorly trained staff, but this happens and can you imagine is somebody arrives at check-in with the intention to have more than 24 hours of total transit time!!!
Answered by ZUPAN | Dec. 29, 2019 15:22
Part two:

So, this is the reason why there should be a careful examination of every case and every situation. Exactly to prevent that people lose their money, time and health. Sometimes it is much better to use an old proverb, better safe than sorry :) In reality, as you can see, this thread is mostly dedicated to the itineraries that are related with a layover in Urumqi that is one of the most specific airports in China. This airport formally allows only 2 hours of layover when you are using 24 hour visa free transit, but we have come to the definite conclusion, thanks to wonderful feedback by fellow travelers, that those flying on China Southern are allowed for longer and even noticeably longer layovers than 2 hours. This is quite an achievement because more and more people are using Urumqi because of China Southern flights CZ6021/CZ6022 that has allowed to many to travel to, mostly, Southeast Asia at very affordable prices that were not seen until the appearance of China Southern in Vienna airport. We will appreciate your further contribution, of course, especially if you have some additional experiences with these details that are of such an importance to the growing number of travelers through Urumqi and Urumqi related connections. Checker, thank you in advance.
Answered by ADILIKI | Jan. 02, 2020 11:57
Hi! I have done the same mistake before even investigating the visa matter. I have bought 3 multi-destination tickets as follows:
1. Vienna - Urumqi - Guangzhou - Kuala Lumpur (2,5h stop in both Urumqi and Guangzhou);
2. Bali - Guangzhou - Urumqi - Vienna (2,5h stop in both Urumqi and Guangzhou);
All flights with China Southern. Then I realized I might need a visa for China.
I have contacted China Southern, they told me I might need a visa for China because In Urumqi you cannot obtain a transit visa on arrival, and suggested me to contact Chinese Embassy in my country. I have contacted China Embassy in Bucharest (Romania). They said they would investigate my issue and asked me to call then back because they wanted to give me accurate information. They CONFIRMED I needed a visa for China in order to be able to fly through Urumqi, irrespective of my transit time in Urumqi.
So please DO NOT buy this kind of tickets unless you are sure you can obtain a Chinese visa beforehand.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jan. 11, 2020 03:22
First hand experiences show that a travel without a visa on the route you have presented is normally done and in this very thread you can read some of the very good experiences. Also, embassies and consulates are pretty much clueless about this subject and they almost always answer like parrots that you need a visa. In the same way as the airlines do. In reality, they are visibly incompetent for this segment maybe even because they belong to totally different ministry and in reality visa free transit is not their jurisdiction. It is a jurisdiction of the Chinese immigration. So far, we didn't encounter a single case that the passengers traveling via Urumqi and Guangzhou were denied boarding and transiting on 24 hour visa free transit. Not a single case, I repeat.

You will decide for yourself and that should be respected, regardless if you will travel on 24 hour visa free transit or on a Chinese transit or tourist visa. It is a personal decision, but I repeat, so far we didn't encounter a single problem that those traveling without a visa, based on 24 hour visa free transit, have experienced. They were all allowed to normally transit through China to their final destination mainly in Southeast Asia or Australia. Again, I repeat, this is valid if the entire itinerary is on China Southern Airlines.
Answered by Matej from Slovakia | Jan. 12, 2020 08:22

I read pretty much all threads on this board, I just want to see what you guys think.
We are flying outta Budapest to Guangzhou with technical stop at Urumqi for 2 hours and 10 minutes, then in Guangzhou we have 21 hours and 30 minutes layover and then we countinue our jurney to Cebu.

Would you guys recomened that we get a transfer G visa for our trip?
We would like to explore Guangzhou thats why I got this longer layover.
I called 2 China emabassies, one in Slovakia and second one in Brussells, both of them still clueless and so is China Southern. On our way back we flight thru same cities but with much shorter layovers.

Thank u
Answered by ZUPAN | Jan. 12, 2020 15:24
Matej, you will have to obtain a Chinese transit (G) visa in advance because your first journey will be more than 24 hours long. Because of this fact, you have lost eligibility for this visa free transit scheme. It is not because of Urumqi or because of two consecutive stops, but because your entire transit time in China has exceeded 24 hours. It is true that recent developments within visa free transit policy indicate that 24 hour visa free transit could be used for longer journeys, but so far we have very few valuable first hand experiences to determine this detail with certainty. So, you really have to obtain a transit (G) visa and travel with complete peace of mind.
Answered by Albacookie from Austria | Jan. 13, 2020 08:11
Hi guys,


I didn’t have time to send my comments earlier but I wrote everything down. Please see below :)
Answered by ALBACOOKIE | Jan. 13, 2020 09:35
I cant seem to post anything now.... will do so later :D
Answered by ZUPAN | Jan. 13, 2020 12:32
Albacookie, your first hand experience will be a great thing for all the travelers on the route that touches Urumqi and Guangzhou. By the way, you probably did not post anything because your post was too long and it was consequently lost. When you have longer posts, you have to save it in some other place before posting because you never know whether it will be posted or not because of the length. If you see that is has not been posted, you should post it in two or more parts as tow or more different posts. Thanks again and waiting to read what you have intended to tell us and especially Matej from Slovakia that will depart on this route very soon :)

Thank you!
Answered by ALBACOOKIE | Jan. 16, 2020 17:29
Hi everybody,

below the text I've been wanting to post for while now.. the "today" is a little old, but please bear with me :) sooo... -->>>>

I successfully flew through China without visa today. There’s no need for it at all. China Southern has thought it all through! :)

Indeed, like ZUPAN guessed, I took a flight with China Southern’s CZ6022 from Vienna to Urumqi (technical stopover) to Guangzhou and finally to Brisbane.
Answered by ALBACOOKIE | Jan. 16, 2020 17:30
Below the flight details:
Check-in is only possible at the airport. I asked the guy at the counter a few questions. He was a man of few words, unfortunately, but from what I understood, they organise visa-free Transit for us at/right after check-in. My baggage was checked-in in Vienna and transported directly to Brisbane. The flight from Vienna to Urumqi was about 6.5 h. The plane was mostly empty and I had the whole row to myself. At arrival in Urumqi we had to leave the plane with all our belongings and go through a security check again. Each of us got a little tag with “Transit passenger” written on it. I had a bottle of liquor with me (0.1 l) as a gift for my friend. They took this away from me and sent it to Guangzhou separately. Afterwards we immigrated into the country (using their yellow arrival card) & got a stamp in our passports. The date of exit was set to 30.12.2019 so the 24-hour transit restriction mentioned in the comments above can actually be extended a little (I arrived in the morning of the 29th); they don’t count the minutes. They let us wait for about 2 hours in a cold waiting room. I wanted to walk around a little but wasn’t allowed to. When we boarded the plane again it was very full. The flight to Guangzhou was about 4.5 hours long. This flight number was CZ381 (I guess this changes because it’s a domestic flight). At Guangzhou we followed the signs “transfer” and officially departed China again (using their yellow Departure card). We waited for our connecting flight to Brisbane in the transit area. It was warm there, there was WiFi, food, coffee etc.

Overall it was a very carefree experience. :)
Answered by ALBACOOKIE | Jan. 16, 2020 17:30
Hello, it’s me again. I wanted to let you know how my flight back went. It was a different experience but yet again VISA ISN’T NEEDED :)
Everyone got a free 24-hour visa free entry permit. I flew out the next day, so China Southern provided a very nice transfer hotel for me and all the other people in my situation. It was a 15 minute taxi ride (also free) from the station and was situated in Guangzhou itself. The hotel was comfortable, the breakfast good and included in the price. I went out in the evening -> for those who want to do this take out enough money from an ATM at the airport (credit card acceptance can be problematic in China!). A taxi ride to the city centre should cost between 150 and 200 RMB and take up to an hour. No one speaks a word of English & google doesn’t work so go at your own risk. :D
The next morning a bus took us to the airport (i arranged the time with the hotel receptionist the night before). We immigrated China in Urumqi. Everything went smoothly. This time the stopover in Urumqi was more pleasant. It wasn’t cold in the waiting area and there were a couple (shabby) duty free shops.

I hope my comments help people travelling this route in the future.

Kind regards,
Answered by ZUPAN | Jan. 17, 2020 09:56
Thank you Albacookie :)

Your first hand experience means a lot to all our users. Indeed, these details are invaluable. When we take into account the price, the time that is lost and the hassle of visa obtaining, I can freely tell you that you have done a lot in every sense to every single passenger that will use 24 hour visa free transit on this route. This route is great firstly because of the low prices. You can reach Southeast Asia or Australia for noticeably lower prices compared to the competition. Now, when the potential passenger know that they can use 24 hour visa free transit, maybe the future passengers will not have the entire rows for themselves :)
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