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China Visa on Arrival

Foreigners normally need to obtain a visa for a trip to China before departure, while in certain cases they are likely to get a China visa on arrival at entry ports. The validity counts from the day following your entry and only one entry is allowed. Once you exit from China, the VOA expires.

Below are two cases where you can apply for China visa on arrival:

Visa on Arrival at Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiamen, and Hainan for Tourists

Visa on Arrival Valid for Eligible Ports Areas Allowed to Stay
In Shenzhen 5 days Luohu (Lo Wu), Huanggang, Shekou and Fuyong ports, Shenzhen Airport Shenzhen
In Zhuhai 3 days Gongbei, Hengqin and Jiuzhou ports Zhuhai
In Xiamen 5 days Xiamen Airport Xiamen
In Hainan 30 days Haikou Airport, Sanya Airport, cruise ports in Haikou and Sanya Mainland China

In comparison with others, Hainan enjoys more privileges for issuing a VOA besides the Hainan 30-Day Visa-Free Access. The landing visa you get in Hainan can last as long as 30 days. You can use it to visit other cities in mainland China and exit from all ports open to foreigners. In addition, the VOA is also available for international cruise ship travelers who disembark in Haikou or Sanya.

Who is eligible?

Passport holders of most countries can easily get a VOA, such as the US, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland and Spain.

Some may apply for it by showing passports with proof that they have been issued a Chinese visa before by embassies and consulates, such as Indonesians and Filipinos.

Countries not eligible include Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Cameroon, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Israel, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, and Yemen.

How to apply?

When you get to the VOA office at the border, just complete the application form, take a photo and pay the fee. The visa will be issued within 5 to 10 minutes. You may need to wait longer if the room is busy.

In Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Xiamen, what you need for the application is just a valid passport, while if you apply for the Hainan visa on arrival, return ticket and hotel bookings are required as well.

What's the cost for China visa on arrival?

It costs CNY 168 for applicants of most countries, but UK nationals have to pay CNY 304 based on a reciprocal basis. Only CNY is accepted for payment and HK dollars are not accepted.


1. There are nearly 10 ports linking Shenzhen with Hong Kong, while tourists can only get the Shenzhen VOA from Luohu, Huanggang, Fuyong, Shekou, and the airport. Please be cautious when travelling to Shenzhen from Hong Kong to find the right port.

2. Upon arriving at the Gongbei immigration building in Zhuhai, you can find the office by passing all the duty free shops; it is behind a green door on the right hand side of the immigration building. Currency can be changed at the China Tourist Services Office back downstairs in the immigration hall.

Visa on Arrival for Travelers in Emergencies

Aliens may, under circumstances where they must necessarily rush to China but have no time for an application, apply for a visa on arrival at entry ports as authorized by the Ministry of Public Security.

This always requires an invitation from an accredited Chinese organization which explains the emergency, mostly related to business purposes that from the Chinese perspective it is important that you be admitted without delay, or that you are in a life-and-death situation.

 Warning: Not all applicants are guaranteed to obtain a landing visa, thus it's advised to get a visa in advance if time permits. See details on how to apply for a China visa.

- Last modified on Feb. 23, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa on Arrival
Asked by Frank Schultze from GERMANY | Feb. 13, 2022 01:37Reply
VOA as German Citizen
Hi I am holding German passport and planning to go Hainan. I have been there a few years ago with a VISA. I have Zero information about VOA in Hainan. I know VOA from Shenzhen. I am traveling from Germany to Haikou. Am I be able to get visa at border crossing, AFTER Corona? I am looking for about 30 days . Any suggestions thanks in advance.
Answers (1)
Answered by Dupont | Feb. 23, 2022 10:01

The VOA policy is no longer available. No matter you go to Hainan or Shenzhen, you cannot use the visa on arrival. Tourist visa applications are also suspended. If you have necessary business to come to China and have a PU invitation letter, you can try to apply for a business visa.
Asked by Jim from CANADA | Jul. 13, 2021 00:25Reply
For canadian citizens
Hi I am holding Canadian passport and planning to go China. I have Zero information about voa in China . I am traveling to Pakistan then China. am I be able to get visa at border crossing . I am looking about 15 to 30 days . Any suggestions thanks in advance
Answers (1)
Answered by Daisy | Jul. 19, 2021 01:36

At the moment, it is not possible to get the visa on arrival of China due to COVID travel restrictions.
Asked by Paps from GHANA | Jun. 12, 2021 21:27Reply
If am an African holding China X1 visa can I travel to hainan ?
Answers (2)
Answered by Leo | Jun. 15, 2021 02:28

Yes, you can.
Answered by Paps | Jun. 15, 2021 04:54

Asked by Ted from AUSTRIA | Apr. 10, 2021 02:20Reply
with the pandemic is possible to travel to Hainan? from Thailand with European passport. xie xie
Answers (1)
Answered by Helen | Apr. 18, 2021 23:22

If you have got a valid visa, it will be possible to travel to Hainan.
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