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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 3 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 accep.


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. 20, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa on Arrival
Asked by Alejandra from ARGENTINA | Feb. 20, 2019 17:53Reply
visa for business in zhuhai
we are Argentinian and we need today 21 of february the visa in zhuhai port for 3 days. we have a meeting in the afternoon for business. it is posible to go there to apply the visa and get it instantly (in the moment)? How much does it cost ? we are in Hong Kong right now. Thank you.
Asked by Kawena from USA | Feb. 20, 2019 00:29Reply
Hi, Hawaii residents trying to figure out if we need and how to obtain a visa to travel to Xiamen.
Aloha! We are trying to plan a trip to Xiamen but not sure if we need to apply for a visa. And if so, some sites say we can apply in the airport, others say use a commercial entry permit agent. Can someone please clarify if any of this is true?
Answers (1)
Answered by Donna | Feb. 20, 2019 08:44

You can't get a visa at the airport. You don't need a visa to transit for 144 hours but you must make sure that your route and passport qualify for this. But USA citizens can get 10-year visa, that's the best choice.
Asked by Princess from USA | Feb. 19, 2019 09:25Reply
Visiting China in august. We are US citizens
We plan on visiting Beijing , Xi’an, Shanghaiin July .. does that mean we need to get the multiple entry tourist l?
Answers (1)
Answered by Simmons | Feb. 19, 2019 18:20

If you would enter China and visit Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai in succession, you can apply for single entry visa.
Asked by Rachelle Henwood from AUSTRALIA | Feb. 19, 2019 05:55Reply
Is visa required departing from Beijing
Iam an Australian travelling from Sydney / Being onwards to Mongolia for a 10 day tour. Our flight arrives in Beijing at 5am and flight to Mongolia doesn't leave till 9am the following day. We plan on booking a hotel in Beijing overnight. Do we need to get a visa for less than 30 hours stay? Coming back from Mongolia we travel back to Beijing and then need to catch a separate flight to Moscow. As we will be arriving Beijing airport, collect our luggage and go thru immigration, do we need to have entry permit?
Answers (1)
Answered by Holmes | Feb. 19, 2019 18:19

You can enjoy free transit in Beijing both ways. No visa would be needed.
Asked by LWK0306 from SINGAPORE | Feb. 19, 2019 00:05Reply
German getting VOA via Hong Kong-Futian or Shenzhen North by Bullet Train
Hi, may I know if there is a visa section to get VOA at Futian or Shenzhen North?
Answers (1)
Answered by Kelley | Feb. 20, 2019 00:22

The five-day VOA is available at Luohu (Lo Wu) Port, Huanggang Port, Shekou Port and Fuyong Port. There is no office at Futian Port although it is only a few hundred meters from Huanggang Port.
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