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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 Nov. 04, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa on Arrival
Asked by Athul from INDIA | Dec. 07, 2019 23:33Reply
I’m an Indian. Can I get a Visa on Arrival at these cities
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Dec. 08, 2019 00:47

Unfortunately, Indian citizens are not eligible for a any kind of VOA at the time being. You are advised to obtain a Chinese visa in advance or to change your travel plans.
Asked by PIERRE PAUWELS from BELGIUM | Dec. 06, 2019 15:05Reply
I aim Belgian can I get the 5 day Visa for Shenzen ?
I do business with company in Shenzen, but arrive in Hong Kong, and like to visit the office in Shenzen,
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Dec. 06, 2019 15:10

Yes, you can. The most convenient border crossing where a Shenzhen VOA office is located is Lo Wu / Luohu. The price for a visa for Belgian citizen is 168 CNY and it is advisable to bring that amount in Chinese cash that you can easily obtain at one of many Hong Kong money changers. One advise more... You should not emphasize that you will travel to Shenzhen for business purposes. You can just state that you go there for tourist purposes and you will, while in Shenzhen, just proceed with your initial intention.
Asked by Mich from PHILIPPINES | Dec. 04, 2019 12:18Reply
Should I get multiple entry China Visa if I'm vising Zhuhai and Shenzhen?
I'm going to Shenzhen coming from Macau passing thru Zhuhai.
My plan is riding a ferry from Jiuzhou Port to Shekou Shenzhen port.
Should I apply for multiple entry China Visa or one entry is enough?

Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Dec. 04, 2019 15:14

If your itinerary is:

Philippines (or some other country) - Macau - Zhuhai - Shenzhen

In this case you need just a single entry visa. When you take a ferry from Jiuzhou to Shekou, this is just a domestic ferry ride and does not consume your visa.

After Shenzhen, you can travel to other parts of mainland China or you can simply cross to Hong Kong.
Asked by Ron from INDONESIA | Dec. 04, 2019 02:42Reply
Indonesian VOA
Hi, i am an indonesian and have previously gotten a china visa about 5 years old. I understand that i am eligible for a VOA but the former visa is in my old passport which is still with me. The question is: can i bring along my old passport to shenzhen airport to apply for the 5 days VOA?
Answers (1)
Answered by ZUPAN | Dec. 04, 2019 10:02

Unfortunately, Indonesian citizens are not eligible for a 5 day Shenzhen VOA even in the case if they have been previously granted a Chinese visa. This is the situation, at least at the time being. You are advised to obtain a Chinese visa in advance or to change your travel plans.
Asked by Ali from KZ | Dec. 03, 2019 22:25Reply
Visa on arrival for Zhuhai

Thank you for the useful article.
Is the Kazakhstan passport holders (who will be coming from Hong Kong by ferry or a bus) eligible for visa on arrival for Zhuhai?

Thank you
Answers (4)
Answered by ZUPAN | Dec. 04, 2019 09:59

Recent practice by Chinese authorities indicates that Kazakhstan citizens are eligible for a Zhuhai VOA. You are advised to travel by bus via HZMB bridge.
Answered by Ali from KAZAKHSTAN | Dec. 04, 2019 19:28

Thank you!

Would you please share the link with the information on that?
Is it ok to travel by ferry from Hong Kong?
Answered by ZUPAN | Dec. 05, 2019 12:27

Ali, there is no an official source for what I have written and for that reason I have mentioned the practice by Chinese immigration. The only real official source is the manual or better to say an internal document used by Chinese authorities and that is unfortunately out of our reach. This internal document is a base for eligibility and it constantly receives different changes. At the time being, but also a couple of years ago, Kazakhstan citizens are eligible for this VOA.
Answered by Ali from KAZAKHSTAN | Dec. 06, 2019 17:03

Thank you!
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