The 5-day visa on arrival at the border between China and Hong Kong was reintroduced earlier this year. We’ve gathered all the up-to-date information on who, where, when and how you can obtain a 5-day visa at the Shenzhen border, and how much it costs.
Obtaining any visa can be a time-consuming affair and this visa could save you a lot of hassle, especially if you’re on a business trip to Hong Kong and want to head to Mainland China for an impromptu meeting, or just want to explore Shenzhen for a few days. Let’s have a look at the most recent updates from the Mainland.
What is the 5-day visa on arrival in Shenzhen China?
As the title suggests this is a short term visa valid for 5 days travel into Mainland China which you can purchase at the border crossings from Hong Kong into Shenzhen. The visa grants you a single entry, which means once you exit again you won’t be allowed back into China until you get a new visa. This visa is equally good for business professionals and tourists, as there is an abundance of attractions in Shenzhen alone that would make your trip worthwhile.
Business professionals use this visa as an opportunity to gain insight into the city for expanding their companies, or to visit any of the top 5 tech giants who shape Shenzhen 'China's Silicon Valley'. You are free to venture into the surrounding areas to visit local factories, view possible locations your new venture, or take a look at some office space in the CBD. You could arrange a visit to the Hongda HQ for some expert guidance in this respect.
Tourists, on the other hand, use their time to explore the diverse culture of this city and experience first-hand the wonder of how a fishing village turned into a top economic zone. Some of the things tourists can explore when in Shenzhen are:
- Visit “The whole China under one roof” at the Chinese Folk Culture Village
- Try food from all over China,
- Treat yourself to some world class shopping and a relaxing afternoon at the spa,
- Play a round of golf at the world famous Mission Hills
**Updated section as of October 2017**
Where can I get a 5-day visa?
There are a few border crossings you could use to obtain a VOA for Shenzhen, below is a list of the different borders and office hours you can use to apply for the visa.
Office Hours of Shenzhen VOA Application at the Following Ports:
- Luohu Port: 07:00 - 23:30
- Huanggang Port: 00:00 - 24:00
In LuoHu as you walk towards the China customs (after HK immigration) follow the signs that says “Foreigners” and look for a sign that says “Port Visa,” there'll be an escalator in the middle of the room leading up to the visa office with money exchange too (you'll do better to exchange money into RMB in HK or your own country before being here though). The visa office looks like a bank, with seating for waiting, and glass counters where the immigration officers will take payment, details, etc.
Shenzhen Bay in Nanshan, and Lok Ma Chau (Futian) borders do not offer VOA (as of October 2017) - to enter Shenzhen via these borders you will need a Chinese visa from elsewhere already in your passport.
How Do I Apply & How Much Does it Cost?
All you need is a valid passport and enough money to pay the visa fee.
You'll need to:
- Fill out the application form
- Provide a passport photo (which can be taken there for a small fee)
- Pay the fee
The application form is relatively simple, you'll basically fill in:
- Passport number and expiry date
- Address in SZ
- Tel no
- Place of birth
The immigration officers will then create and stick the visa into your passport (note that it takes up a whole page). The entire process usually takes a few minutes, depending on the amount of people applying at the time.
The general price is 168 RMB for most nationals (although the price can vary based on nationality) i.e for a UK passport holder it will be around 314 RMB. The fee must be paid there at the booth and has to be local currency (RMB), you will easily find foreign currency exchange windows at the border crossings, in case you don’t have RMB on you.
The border staff speak English and can advise you of any recent changes in procedure.
How To Pay?
RMB in cash is recommended as it's simple, and Unionpay is China's electronic payment method and so if your card has that it's fine too.
With the exception of Mastercard, you could also use Visa and American Express, but as with all foreign payment methods, there's a chance they wouldn't work.
Who Can Get The Visa?
This list changes often and without notice and thus we cannot guarantee its exact accuracy, as there is no way of obtaining an official list. The list below is understood to be the most accurate list up to date. If you have experienced anything different than what’s written here, please leave a comment in the comment section below, be it good or bad.
It is our understanding that Australian, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and EU passport holders are eligible. UK passport holders are currently eligible for this visa, but it does tend to change on a regular basis. US passport holders are now eligible, but the cost of 956RMB is punitive and it is the same as getting a 10 year multi entry visa from the embassy (so don't apply for this VOA if you're American, get your visa in advance).
Here is a list of the countries that are NOT allowed this particular VOA for Shenzhen (you will still be able to get a Chinese visa in most cases, but must apply in advance from the local embassy):
If your country is not listed here you should be eligible to obtain a 5-Day VOA, but it is good to know that whatever the result is on the day, you will be allowed to go back to Hong Kong in any event without any hassles.
If you do need to return to HK due to being denied a VOA, using the LuoHu border is best as it is linked to HK by metro which run every few minutes, whereas from Huanggang you'd need to catch a bus or taxi.
Good To Know...
- Having held a Chinese visa previously will benefit your application. Be prepared to provide the visa/s.
- If you have a relatively new passport, say around a year old, you will need to produce your old passport, otherwise it is likely you'll be denied the VOA.
- Stamps to certain countries, such as Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan, will probably result in your VOA being denied regardless of your nationality (Oct 17).
Alternative options for a VOA to China:
Zhuhai offers a 3-Day VOA at Gongbei Port,note that you will only be allowed to visit Zhuhai when obtaining a visa there. When at Gongbei, as soon as you pass the duty-free shops there will be a green door on the right-hand side of the immigration building, you can apply for your visa there. The visa cost is 168 RMB for most countries, but UK nationals have to pay 469 RMB. Only RMB is accepted for visa payment.
China’s largest Tropical Island Hainan offers a 15 to 21 visa-free stay for tourists from the 26 countries listed below, considering you travel as a group of more than 5 members, organized by an International Travel Agency in Hainan.
Known eligible countries at the moment:
Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Thailand, UK, USA and Ukraine.
We wish you all the best, and hope you enjoy your stay whether it's for business or pleasure and if you do have any questions about doing business in China, setting up a company here, or need information regarding visas please don’t hesitate to contact Hongda or visit our HQ in Luo Hu.
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