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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 Sep. 20, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa on Arrival
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.
Asked by Norberto from MEXICO | Mar. 08, 2021 19:46Reply
A Mexican can apply for the VOA fm HK to Shenzen
Hello from Mexico, when the pandemic finishes is it possible for a mexican get the VOA and cross the border from HK to Shenzen, thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Emma | Mar. 21, 2021 20:56

Yes, when the pandemic finishes, it's possible for you to get the 5-day Shenzhen VOA.
Asked by Abubakar | Sep. 17, 2020 08:09Reply
Shenzhen 5days tourist visa
Can a Nigerian get the 5 days Shenzhen tourists visa, on arrival when normal travels resume.
Answers (2)
Answered by Elvis | Sep. 20, 2020 19:45

I'm afraid not.
Answered by Matthew Huynh | Apr. 23, 2021 15:55

No. If you are Nigerian citizen, you need to apply a tourist visa through the Chinese Embassy in Abuja or Chinese Consulate General in Lagos with your valid hotel reservation or letter of invitation by the hotel in China after pandemic is over.
Asked by Anthony from SOUTH AFRICA | Jul. 29, 2020 03:47Reply
Visa on arrival for South Africans
Hello. My name is Anthony. I am currently stranded in South Africa with no form of Income. I am about to lose my job in China too. I have a valid resident and work permit in China. I am desperately trying to get a new Visa issued to enter China and return to work. Does anyone know if I will be eligible to get a Visa on arrival? Or is there any other way to get a new Visa issued?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nancy from SOUTH AFRICA | Aug. 02, 2020 20:06

Anthony, no one can get the visa on arrival of China at present. If you do really want to enter China, you need to contact the Chinese embassy to seek any advice.
Asked by LILY from ISRAEL | Jun. 19, 2020 02:53Reply
I am an Israeli living in Hong Kong during past 5 months, can I get a Shenzhen 5 day visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Jason from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 23, 2020 18:43

I'm afraid you can't. As you know, currently foreigners are not allowed to enter China.
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