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China Visa on Arrival

 China has resumed issuing visas on arrival at designated ports in Shenzhen, Xiamen and Zhuhai to eligible visitors since March 15, 2023, which has been stopped for 3 years because of covid-19.

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 updated on Sep. 07, 2023 by Brenda Lian -
Questions & Answers on China Visa on Arrival
Asked by Pranee from THAILAND | Sep. 26, 2023 02:34Reply
Shenzhen VOA
What is the success rate of Shenzhen VOA for Thailand passport?
Asked by Benjie from PHILIPPINES | Sep. 25, 2023 18:53Reply
Philippine passport
Will be arriving in Hong kong (solo traveller). Can I still obtain visa on arrival to Shenzhen? Any Filipino who experienced this?
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | Sep. 26, 2023 00:50

You are suggested to postpone your trip because the success rate for Philippines citizens is quite low. Of course, you can obtain a regular visa in advance...
Asked by Sean from MALAYSIA | Sep. 24, 2023 05:45Reply
Hi, Any idea the success rate for Malaysia passport holders to get a visa on arrival at Zhuhai, Kongbei port ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Borut | Sep. 25, 2023 03:45

You are suggested to postpone your trip because the success rate for Malaysian citizens is quite low. Of course, you can obtain a regular visa in advance...
Asked by Martin Ernst from SWITZERLAND | Sep. 23, 2023 08:26Reply
Flying from Thailand to HongKong and need to go for 3 days to Shenzhen? Swiss citizen.
Can I apply for VOA?
Answers (1)
Answered by Jenny | Sep. 25, 2023 01:06

Yes, you are eligible for it but it depends on the luck whether you can obtain it successfully or not.
Asked by Dan from AUSTRALIA | Sep. 22, 2023 06:31Reply
VOA Official Details
Hello, is there an official website that details the VOA process?
Answers (1)
Answered by Andrew | Sep. 24, 2023 20:21

It is a pity there is no such an official website to illustrate everything.
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