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.
Are we able to obtain the Visa on Arrival?
Citizens of countries or regions with diplomatic or trade relations with China are eligible for the visa on arrival when arriving in Haikou or Sanya. With the visa on arrival, you can travel to any part of China for up to 15 days total, and leave China from anywhere!
Visa on Arrival Process:
1. Before you travel, call the hot line of Hainan Exit-Entry Inspection and Quarantine Bureau to ask about the Visa on Arrival eligibility for your nationality.
Haikou Meilan Airport Visa Office Number: +86-898-65751994
Sanya Phoenix Airport Visa Office Number: +86-898-88289566
2. After arriving at the airport, go to the visa section and get your visa. (24 hours service)
3. What you need to prepare: your valid passport, one 2-inch color photo without hat (on-site photography service available), visa on arrival fee (varies from 168 to 1,000 RMB, cash only). In your case, UK citizen will be 304 CNY and Ecuadorian 168, although I cannot confirm this with 100% certainty. You are advised to buy at least 2.000 CNY at one of Hong Kong money changers before your departure to Hainan.
4. After receiving your visa, you can travel to any part of mainland China, and stay for up to 15 days, to explore the country.
5. You will need to register with the local police station within 24 hours after arrival in each place you stay. If you are in a hotel, the staff will take care of this for you, but if you are camping or staying in a friend’s apartment or other location, you will need to go to the local police station with your passport to register. This is a national law.
if i fly from Laos to Xiamen and stay for three days and fly to Thailand. I am german with german passport. Can i receive a Visa upon arrival for 3 days? or do i need to apply for a visa prior? I would be meeting a german friend who has a layover.
Laos - Xiamen - Thailand
You can be eligible for 144 hour visa free transit. Anyway, there are no direct flights from Laos to Xiamen, so we have a problem here.
By the way, you should definitely not to try to obtain a VOA by arriving on a plane because you will not be allowed to board the plane in the country from where you will depart to Xiamen. There are several examples where passengers willing to apply for Xiamen VOA were denied boarding even in Hong Kong!
In reality, if you find an eligible itinerary for your Xiamen trip that should look like this:
Country A - Xiamen (China = country B) - Country C
You can use 144 hour visa free transit and if you cannot create such an itinerary, you will have to obtain a Chinese tourist (L) visa in advance!
Thanks for your answer
In reality, you have an option of visa free transit, but in that case you have to fly by direct flight from Hong Kong to Guangzhou and become eligible for 144 hour visa free transit.
To return back to Hong Kong, you will have to go first to Macau by ferry from Shenzhen Shekou port. After your arrival in Macau, you can immediately take the first ferry to Hong Kong. Please, keep in mind that, in case that you decide for this option, you will have to book a ferry from Shenzhen Shekou to Macau online in advance. After the booking through TurboJet ferry website, you will receive an e-confirmation that you will have to print out and use as a proof that you will be really in a transit. Also, you will use this printout of your e-confirmation to collect your real paper ticket at Shenzhen Shekou ferry terminal. Please, keep in mind that you will have to use exactly that ferry that you have bough the ticket for.
This is the only way how you could legally escape from obtaining a Chinese visa.