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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 Apr. 15, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa on Arrival
Asked by Shivani kharpate from INDIA | Apr. 19, 2019 11:16Reply
Can travllers get visa on arrival?
I am a student, traveller to save money me and my 2 friends booked a nonrefundable singapore flight, i have applied for visa since a month now and it is still not done.if i dont get my visa here, can i and my 2 friends get visa on arrival in beijing as i have only 5 working days left?
Answers (2)
Answered by ZUPAN | Apr. 21, 2019 05:26

Please, could you just clarify what does it mean "singapore flight". I assume that you will be traveling from one country via China to Singapore, but you have to be precise in order to get a precise answer. Also, why did you apply for a Chinese visa? If my assumption is correct, how much time do you intend to spend in Beijing? OK, I hope you will supply some additional information and after that you will get an answer.
Answered by ZUPAN | Apr. 21, 2019 13:32

Please, could you give some additional details:

1. I understand that your flight has Singapore either as a destination or an origin, but nothing else in between, with just not so clear mentioning of Beijing
2. Again, according to my assumptions, you would like to arrive in Beijing, but you should tell for how long period
3. Maybe you have obtained your Chinese visas in the meantime
Asked by Sonya Yong from CANADA | Apr. 19, 2019 09:37Reply
Is there a VOA office at the Zhuhai port of the HZMB bridge?
I'd like to take the HZMB bridge from Hong Kong directly to Zhuhai, but I do not have a China visa yet (Canadian and Belgian passport). Is there a VOA office at the Zhuhai HZMB border to Zhuhai?
Thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Apr. 21, 2019 13:27

Yes, there is. You can use a bus to cross HZMB bridge directly to Zhuhai and there you will obtain Zhuhai 3 day VOA. This administrative crossing is called Jiuzhou Port. The procedure is fairly easy and just keep in mind to have 168 CNY (the only acceptable currency) preferably in cash. In principle, they should accept also the credit cards, but just to be on the safe side, buy CNY at some exchange office in Hong Kong and just travel with peace of mind.
Asked by Sauro from ITALY | Apr. 18, 2019 21:46Reply
Sanya Visa on landing
Hello my wife and I arrive in Sanya from Hong Kong for 4 days and then back to Hong Kong. Can We do the Visa on landing directly at the airport? We are Italians
Answers (7)
Answered by Frederica | Apr. 18, 2019 23:15

Hi, you are advised to find a travel agency to help you apply for the 30-day visa-free access in Sanya.
Answered by Sauro from ITALY | Apr. 18, 2019 23:31

But I know that it's enough a confirmed hotel reservation and a return/onward ticket and present them at the travel agent counter in the arrival hall prior to immigration.
Answered by Pawel from POLAND | Apr. 19, 2019 04:03

Hi Sauro,
I have similar situation...
Nobody wants to confirm I can obtain landing Visa on the Airport :(
Answered by ZUPAN | Apr. 21, 2019 13:46

This is very delicate issue. In reality there is functional Hainan Visa on Arrival (different from Hainan 30-day Free Visa Access for which you would really need an agency), but there are details that change without prior announcement and are mostly dedicated to the citizenship that are or not eligible for this spoecific convenience. For now, France and US are somewhat dubious because you will find that they are not eligible on one page and on another that they are fine. Anyway, one thing is definitely certain and that is probably that interests you the most. Well, Italian and Polish citizenship are fine for Hainan Visa on Arrival convenience.
Answered by ZUPAN | Apr. 21, 2019 13:51

Anyway, I strongly suggest that you make a contact with a travel agency, for example this one, i.e. Travel China Guide, that will help you with your successful trip to Hainan. As I have already told you, this is a very delicate issue. Please, do not let be disappointed.
Answered by Pawel from POLAND | Apr. 21, 2019 23:40

Thanks Zupan for clarification.
I will contact the agency.
Answered by Sauro from ITALY | Apr. 22, 2019 00:19

Hi, we have made the registration via agency for 30 day Visa not to risk... But I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have any problems with the VOA... We have arranged everything on our own, with the Hainan agency we booked the transfer to the hotel
Asked by Pawel from POLAND | Apr. 18, 2019 04:55Reply
Haikou visa on arrival
I'm from Poland, I will travel from Hong Kong to Haikou, stay there for 10 days, then travel to Beijing (overnight stay) and then to EU.
I would like to apply for visa on arrival in Haikou.
Can I do that?
I tried to call Exit&entry Bureau in Haikou, but nobody speak English there :(
Answers (1)
Answered by Taylor | Apr. 18, 2019 18:01

Hi, you are advised to find a travel agency to help you apply the Hainan visa-free access upon your arrival for your trip.
Asked by Wu from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 18, 2019 00:57Reply
Length of tour for 30 days free visa
I will like to visit Hainan and stay with my relatives. Can I use the 30 day free visa program for this. Alternatively how long a tour must I join before qualifying for above visa.
Answers (1)
Answered by Johnston | Apr. 18, 2019 03:00

Yes, you can do it. It would up to the travel agency to decide how long a tour must you join them, I suppose.
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