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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 May. 17, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa on Arrival
Asked by Martin Shirley from AUSTRALIA | Jun. 12, 2019 20:08Reply
5 day Shenzhen economic zone visa
Where can i get the 5 day Shenzhen economic zone visa if travelling from Hong Kong with an Australian Passport.
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 13, 2019 06:39

The best choice is to head to Lo Wu border crossing and then on foot to Luohu that is a mainland China counterpart crossing. You can easily reach Lo Wu by MTR East Rail line from the center of Hong Kong and after you successfully obtain your Shenzhen VOA at Luohu, you will just proceed from there by Shenzhen metro.
Asked by Abraham Boyd from HONG KONG | Jun. 12, 2019 05:55Reply
How long is the que to get a VOA when arriving in Zhuhai office?
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 12, 2019 06:37

It actually depends on the part of the day and of the number of applicants. Usually, the waiting times are a bit longer during the morning hours. Anyway, I would say that usual total time required to obtain Zhuhai VOA on HZMB - Zhuhai port takes no more than 30, maybe up to 45 minutes at most.
Asked by riawaty from INDONESIA | Jun. 12, 2019 05:53Reply
about multiple entry between Zhuhai and macau
We plan to visit Zhuhai n Macau in Chinese New Year 2020, we are holding Indonesia Pasport. Do the VOA can be use for multiple entries?

Answers (2)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 12, 2019 06:26

No, it cannot. Zhuhai VOA like other SEZ VOAs are strictly single entry visas for limited geographical area. As an Indonesian citizen you should know that Indonesian citizens are eligible only if they have been granted a Chinese visa previously by Chinese embassy or consulate. By the way, Indonesian do not require a visa for entry in Macau for up to 30 days.
Answered by ria from INDONESIA | Jun. 12, 2019 20:15

yes, tq for ur fast response. but what i mean is, we plan to stay over night at Zhuhai, while traveling in daylight in Macau for 2-3 days. because the expenses in zhuhai is much cheaper than Macau. but i got the point. thanks anyway.
Asked by Neil Valero from PHILIPPINES | Jun. 10, 2019 01:48Reply
Staying with friends house in Shenzhen

If I don't have any hotel booking but will be staying in a friends house in Shenzhen , will this be OK with the application of VOA in Shenzhen . I am a Filipino by the way.

Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 10, 2019 03:13

Neil, you have to know that Shenzhen VOA is available for Filipino citizens only in case that you have been issued a Chinese visa before. If this is not the case with you, you will have to apply for usual Chinese visa to arrive in Shenzhen. In case that you have been issued a Chinese visa before, you have to bring that passport with used Chinese visa at the border crossing and your Shenzhen VOA will be granted to you. So, you know the best your situation regarding these details.

As far as your sojourn in Shenzhen in the house of your friend is concerned, this is not a problem because you will tell exact identity of your friend and also his/her precise address in Shenzhen and you will be allowed to proceed. Also, you should have in mind that you will have to register in person along with your friend at local Public security bureau (PSB) upon your arrival.
Asked by Quang Nguyen Anh from VIETNAM | Jun. 06, 2019 01:04Reply
vietnamese passport with HK ID (not permernant id)
hi i am vietnamese and holding vietnamese passport
i have HK id and permit to stay in HK until 2020 Feb
i am planning to take ferry to zhuhai port (jiuzhou)
what is the chance of I getting VOA providing I can provide return ferry ticket and one day hotel booking at chimelong?
Answers (3)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 06, 2019 12:47

I would say, that your chances are relatively good and they would be even better if you have been granted a Chinese visa in the past. If this is a case, you should bring your old passport with the mentioned visa with you. Anyway, if you were not been granted a Chinese visa, please just understand that your application upon arrival will depend totally on a decision of probably only one immigration official. Your hotel booking and having in possession of return ferry ticket increases your chances. In any case, I really wish you a good luck and immigration official in good mood.
Answered by Quang from VIETNAM | Jun. 09, 2019 21:00

Hi Zupan,

Thank you very much for your response.

if the officer reject my VOA, do I have second chance by asking another officer look at my situation?

I feel like for Special Zone, there are not a lot of different information regarding to visa application
Answered by ZUPAN | Jun. 10, 2019 02:33

Actually, if rejected by one officer, you cannot ask another one for the very same thing. Even if the first officer was wrong, the second one will probably or reject to talk to you or he/she will just repeat the same things as the first one, just for solidarity with the colleague.

It is true that applying for SEZ VOAs sometimes appears to be a kind of roulette, but in the end, the largest majority of applicants get their VOAs and proceed with their travel plans normally. Also, I support your decision to use Jiuzhou port because when you arrive by boat it is definitely psychologically harder for immigration officer to reject you.

Well, all I can say is, just proceed with your plans and I hope that you will write here soon about your successful obtaining of Zhuhai VOA :).
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