Here's How to Apply for the E-Channel at Chinese Airports

By Bridget O'Donnell, February 22, 2018

8 0

More great news for foreign travelers in China. Frequent travelers with a Z visa can now use the E-Channel to skip immigration queues at the airport, according to China Briefing. This comes just recently after China introduced six-day, 144-hour visa-free transit to foreigners from 51 countries.

You'll need to apply in advance to be able to use the E-Channel service. We've outlined the process below.

Step 1: Check if your passport is compatible

Before you apply for the E-Channel program, check to see if your passport is compatible. You'll need a new biometric ("e-passport") enabled with a microchip symbol on the front, as well as a valid Chinese visa with at least six months of validity and a corresponding residence permit.

Here's How to Skip Airport Lines in China with Your Z Visa

Step 2: Ask for an E-Channel application form

The next time you arrive at the immigration area of an international airport, ask duty officers for the application form, which can be submitted at several border offices across China. They'll direct you to the E-Channel registration counter, where you'll be required to fill out a "Biometrics Data Release Authorization" form, which will allow your information to be entered into the system.

The registration process is free of charge. Some Chinese language skills may be required to communicate with the immigration staff and fill out the form*.

Step 3: Complete the application

Once you have the form, the application process is pretty simple. All you have to do is fill out and sign the form, have your photo taken and scan both thumb prints. The information will then be stored in your passport's microchip.

Here's How to Skip Airport Lines in China with Your Z Visa

Step 4: Begin using the E-Channel!

Once your registration is complete, you'll be able to use the E-Channel the same day without any further requirements.

Upon arrival at E-Channel terminal, you'll be required to scan your passport photo page. This will open the doors to the E-Channel area. A scan will then be taken of your face and you'll be required to put your thumbs on a fingerprint scanner to confirm your identity. Once that's all complete, the exit doors will open and you'll be able to pass through immigration with minimal hassle. 

Here's How to Skip Airport Lines in China with Your Z Visa

If any issues arise at the E-Channel, you'll have to go through the normal immigration line.

Should you decide to cancel your E-Channel service for any reason, you'll need to apply for a cancellation form and submit it to the E-Channel Enrollment office. Additional documents may be required as proof of identity.

* As of February 2018, a bilingual English-Chinese form is available at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

[Images via China Daily, Ege Eye, Australian Government, Wordpress]


This article was originally published on November 3, 2016. It has been updated and republished on February 22, 2018.

more news

Updated Travel Rules from Shenzhen to Guangzhou

Take note of these rules before traveling between Guangzhou and Shenzhen

2 New COVID Cases, National Travel Policy Updated

The numbers come as Shanghai emerges from China's biggest citywide lockdown since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

48-Hour COVID Test Required for Almost EVERYONE Planning Travel

The requirement applies to almost anyone traveling between September 10 and October 31.

ATTENTION: This Beijing Travel Rule has Changed

The new nationwide rules mean that almost everyone traveling must have a 48-hour COVID test.

Leaving Beijing for Mid-Autumn? Remember These Travel Rules

Certain COVID-related travel rules for leaving and entering Beijing still apply.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives