Getting a Visa on Arrival in Shenzhen

Updated April 11, 2017: Keeping this list up-to-date based on the comments readers have left on the bottom of this post with their experience. Please share your result, whether or not you were able to get a visa at the border with price to help fellow readers, thank you! (Keep in mind this list is no guarantee and only based on comments to this post.)

Yes, passport eligible for Shenzhen visa on arrival:

  • France (168 rmb): June 8, Jul 10, Jan 5, Feb 19
  • Britain / UK (304 rmb): Sep 14, Dec 4, Mar 15
  • Hungary: Aug 19
  • USA: Sep 13, Jan 24 (10 yr multi-entry visa cost is same)
  • Sweden: Sep 21, Feb 22
  • Spain: Oct 23
  • Croatia: Oct 30
  • Israel (168 rmb): Dec 5
  • Ukraine (408 rmb): Dec 5
  • Australia (168 rmb): Jan 14
  • Netherlands (168 rmb): Jan 15
  • Poland (475 rmb): Feb 19
  • Switzerland (168 rmb): Feb 17
  • Canada (168 rmb): Mar 6
  • Austrian: Mar 16
  • Romania (512 rmb): Mar 31
  • Germany: Apr 1

Maybe, reports of success and failure for VOA:

  • Malaysia (169 rmb): Sep 13 No, Dec 29 Yes
  • Canada: Aug 28 Yes/No
  • Philippines: Jan 9 (if had prior China visa,) Jan 17 (Denied despite having China visa prior)
  • UK: Feb 18 (no)
  • Netherlands: Yes Jan 15, No Jan 13 (born in Iran)

No, passport ineligible for Shenzhen visa on arrival:

  • India: May 23, Jun 9,
  • Indonesia: Aug 15, Jan 8
  • Morocco: Nov 13, Apr 8

It appears some readers are being discriminated based on looks or where they were born (e.g. Iran or Pakistan,) despite having passports from eligible countries. China immigration will blatantly discriminate individuals and provide no reason for denial. Apply for a visa ahead of time if you must enter China. Do not rely on VOA.

Original Article below:

Visa Requirement

For those who need a visa to visit mainland China there are many options – applying in Hong Kong is a common one. If you plan in to visit Shenzhen only when you are in China, and are travelling from Hong Kong, it is also possible to get a visa on arrival at the land border there, valid for 5 days.

The primary benefit of this is convenience. It is not cheaper than a normal visa. However, it can be processed immediately. So you cut out the waiting time typically needed for a China visa as well as the effort involved in going through the process in Hong Kong.

Valid Passports

This list changes often and without notice. We cannot guarantee it’s accuracy and there is no official list known. If you have experiences different than mentioned, please comment. More accurate list is at top of this post.

Eligible passport holders of many western countries can get a VOA in Shenzhen: refer to top of post for most accurate list.

Some may apply for it showing passports with proof that they have been issued Chinese visa before by embassies and consulates, such as Indonesians and Philippines.

The below is understood to be accurate as of July 19, 2016.

Non-eligible passports for Shenzhen VOA

  • India
  • 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
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen.

Leaving Hong Kong

You need to leave Hong Kong at the land border at Lo Wu (a stop on the East Rail MTR line). From there, you can exit HK immigration.

SZ VISA

Applying for the Visa

Visa office hours 7:30am-11:30pm

As you walk beyond Chinese customs (after HK immigration) follow the signs for “Foreigners”. There is an escalator just before you would reach the Chinese immigration counters which is clearly signed for “Port Visa”. Take it upstairs and the visa office is right there.

You need to fill out a simple form, which is available at the counter. This requires much less information than a standard Chinese visa application form so should be quicker to complete.

You then need to pay a fee and submit the form, and you will be given a number. After the visa is issued you will be called up to another counter to collect it. When I used this service the visa was issued in five minutes or so, with no queue for submission (unlike if you apply directly at the Chinese visa office in HK, for example).

Visa Type

This is a “Special Economic Zone Tourism Visa”. The visa is valid for five days from the date of issue. So, for example, if it is issued on the 7th of April, it will be valid until the 12th of April. It does not specify how many entries it is valid for, but it is single entry – once you cross the border out of Shenzhen, the visa will be scored through.

Technically this visa is only valid for visits to the Shenzhen area, but I don’t know how they will know if you travel to other areas of China, as long as you leave through the same port.

SZ VISA 2

Cost

The cost is the same as the standard China visa cost (which varies by country), so for example for a U.K. passport it costs 314 RMB, French passport 168 RMB. Generally China will reciprocate what your country charges for Chinese citizens. The picture below shows prices as of Apr 11, 2017.

General rule of thumb; if you are eligible to get a visa on arrival in Shenzhen, and country is not on the list in the photo below, you’ll pay 168 RMB. Otherwise you pay the listed price or are denied entry.

Shenzhen VOA prices by country

Note, US Citizens have the highest cost, and should apply for a 10 year visa at the same price via Chinese embassy / consulate.

Payment via cash, Visa, American Express, Unionpay. (Mastercard is NOT accepted.)

Guest Blogger: Christopher R.

 

211 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Hi just wanted to no if wen you get the 5day visa if it’s actually start the time to got it so does the 5 days start as u got the visa or the following day

  2. Angel says:

    Hi., Is it possible to get to Shenzhen from Hong kong on a Philippine passport? Do I have to apply a visa to shenzhen from Philippines or am I be able to get a VOA?
    We are going to hong kong in July but we really wanna go to Shenzhen also if possible.

  3. ChefDeanna says:

    Crossed over twice in the last week on a Canadian passport. Fast, friendly, and still $168

  4. viajero says:

    whats the price for the visa? (german passport)

  5. Eric PAUCHET says:

    Hello,

    I would like to thank you for this blog that gave me confidence in crossing the border with a VOA.
    You can add +1: French, May 13th 2017.

    Quick tips from my trip:
    – if you come from HK airport, take the bus A43. It is only 30,9 HKG$, take you straight to Sheung Shui, so 1 MRT stop before Lo Wu. Way cheaper than taking the train from the Airport, and fast: the whole travel time to Lo Wu took me 45 min (although I had to wait 20 min from the bus that I just missed)
    – You can leave Shenzhen from another port (not necessary Lo Wu again)

    Cheers and thanks all

  6. susan says:

    Hi a i’m a Philippine passport holder and a permanent resident in HK.
    I would like to visit shenzhen for 1 day tour only. can i get my VOA visan on arrival at louhu?….

  7. Winnie says:

    Hi, I’m a Malaysian. Is it possible to get the visa on arrival at Shekou Ferry Terminal if I’m coming through Macau?

  8. shree says:

    I am Indian Passport Holder, Staying In Hong Kong last Five year on Employment visa,
    Can I get on arrival visa to shenzen

    • Christopher R. says:

      Shree, the reports on Indians are mixed. As above, although technically not ineligible, Indian passport holders reporting in the comments section on this page have been denied on multiple occasions. HK employment visa is probably less relevant than previous Chinese visas, but they are also not a guarantee of success. Your safest option would be to apply for a visa before your planned trip.

  9. Ceries says:

    Hi there im a philippine passport holder and im a domestic helper here in hk and my friend invited me to take a 3 days holiday in guangzhou with me..is it possible that i can get a visa in a china embassy here??or i dont need a visa bec its 3 days sty only?thanks

  10. MCH says:

    Hello,

    Has any one with a US Passport received visa on arrival in Shenzhen? I know this wasnt possible a few years ago.

    best regards,

    • Hi Michael, According to reports it is possible, however as a fellow American I highly suggest obtaining a traditional visa. US citizens are eligible for 10 year multiple entry visas, at the same price as a one-time SZ VOA.

      • Michael Christopher Hage says:

        Thank you for the suggestions. Everything worked out well, as I used my German passport. I would also recommend not using the US passport for a visa on border. The rules seem to change daily. I will now apply for a 10 year visa with my US passport.

  11. Joss says:

    I’m a New Zealander and planning to go to Shenzhen on 23 April. New for me too – planning to take the train to Lo Wu if anyone is keen to join me? Once I’m into Shenzhen, what is the cost of a taxi to Shennan Boulevard, Futian District, Shenzhen Guangdong (approx 12kms away)?

    • Rani says:

      Hey Joss, Im on NZ passport as well – was it okay getting your visa on arrival? I’m just getting slightly worried they might deny entry.
      Hope you enjoy your stay! 🙂 Rani

  12. Alan says:

    I quickly (15 mins) got a VOA on April 14 at Lui Hu port with my Australian passport. The next day my UK friend says if was so busy it took him 3 hours

  13. Wouter says:

    Yesterday (April 18, 2017) I successfully applied for a 5 day port visa at Luohu. Whole process took less than 5 minutes. Even though my 1 month business visa application got rejected the same day at the embassy, I could get this port visa without any trouble.

    I come from the Netherlands and no questions were asked. In front of me, however, was a guy from India. He even had a flight ticket out of China for after 2 days. Still, they did not allow him to apply for a visa on the border with an Indian passort.

  14. Ian says:

    Hi does anyone no if I have 5 day visa valid till sat but need to leave on Sunday , a day late if I can go to border and get another 5 day visa thurs or fri say? Or what will happen if day late on exit ? So need help asap please

  15. Alan says:

    Has anyone actually used this Visa to travel past Shenzen into other parts of China?
    Is it illegal?

    • Adam says:

      2 years ago, my family took the train to Guangdong and stayed there for 3 days, in a 5 star hotel, with an SEZ visa. No one at the train station or hotel (both looked at our passports) seemed to care. We left from Shenzhen within 5 days. However…I can’t say what would have happened if we tried an airport or left from a different place.

  16. C P B says:

    Does anyone now if it is possible to get the VOA at other ports? I found a few other websites that say it is possible at: Luohu Port, Huanggang, Shekou Port &
    Fuyong Port. I am particularly interested in taking the ferry from the HK airport directly to Shekou so any information would be greatly appreciated!

  17. Conor says:

    Excuse my ignorance, please. I am looking to go to china for about two months on the ‘L’ visa. Have a flight booked to HK and out from Shanghai. I had planned on getting my visa in HK but an agency has informed me that I need my old passport as well a second my new, as I only recently had said new one commissioned. Needless to say, I don’t have my old passport with me. I’m not at home…currently travelling.
    Is it possible to get the ‘L’ visa in Shenzhen (without needing the old passport)? Or can one only get the 5 day shenzen/china visa discussed here?
    Thank you

    • jpw says:

      Did you solve your issue?
      Lots of people seem to have had this “old passport” issue in the past few weeks, as the regulation is quite new.

  18. Lish says:

    Hello, Is anyone travelling from HK to Shenzhen on 19th April? Hoping to organise a visa at the borderline and would be nice to have someone tag along for the ride.

    • H. Enns says:

      Hello, I will also travelling on the 17th from HK Airport. I will start at 8 am. SO you are invited to join me. I have no experiance.

      Regards, Heinrich

  19. tony says:

    Thanks for your blog, super intresting. I have 2 questions.

    1/ What do you mean when you write
    France (168 rmb): June 8, Jul 10, Jan 5, Feb 19
    Britain / UK (304 rmb): Sep 14, Dec 4, Mar 15
    Hungary: Aug 19

    What are those dates standing for?/(June 8, Jul 10, Jan 5, Feb 19,Sep 14, Dec 4, Mar 15
    ) Arrval dates?

    2/ IS it possible to do this several time. I mean get in and out of HK getting these 5 days visas.. At least twice.

    Thanks a lot

    • jpw says:

      1) The rules change all the time. The dates displayed are just a summary of people who testified that they obtained a VOA on that day with a passport from that country, here in the webpage comments (eg, the “French passport” on “19 Feb” was me)
      2) The visa is of single entry type. If you come back to HK and want to reenter SZ you will have to queue again and ask for a new visa… that’s at your own risk since nobody knows what the conditions are.

      • Nicolas says:

        Hi jpw,
        writting in english while i am French as you. I arrive in HK on monday 8th of May and have an appointment with a costumer the afternoon in Shenzhen. right now I got no Visa for Shenzhen. i will give a try at LoWu… Except money and my passport, do I need other documents?
        thank you for your blog, it is precious information and very hard to find out what the situation is really. At least with your blog, we got “an update” about it.

        • Ni Nicolas,

          Passport and money should be sufficient. If you’re staying overnight I’d suggest printing out a copy of your hotel confirmation. However, if you tell them you’re only going for tourist reasons such as shopping and eating, then you shouldn’t need any special documentation.

          Please let us know if you were able to get your visa.

  20. celine crouzat says:

    Hello, Is it possible to get the visa at Lo Wu then enter to shenzhen and finally leave the country from Shenzen airport??

    • jpw says:

      Bonjour Céline
      Have you done that? I’m very interested in the answer to your question.

    • Jorge says:

      Does anyone know if it is possible to enter by land (get the visa) and leave through Shenzhen airport?

      • Christopher R. says:

        I did ask about this recently and got pretty confused responses. My hunch is it would be okay on the basis that you’re within the terms of the visa, but I don’t know – we would be interested to hear your experience if you try it.

  21. Before Morocco they can have visa, now no they refused me, they told me something is change and they will not give a visa for moroccan passport

    • Hi Sofia, sorry to hear you were denied. Unfortunately we had another reader back in Nov get denied as well. I would suggest Morocco citizens do not go to to the SZ border to get your visa. Use traditional channels via the embassy/consulate.

  22. Alan Simon says:

    Hi I’m arriving in Hong Kong on April 14.
    I plan to go by coach or Sunway to Lo Wu/Luo Hu port and get a VOA for Shenzhen

    Am I 100% OK to do this (Australian passport) and could I have a problem entering Hong Kong without a HK address? Am I safe to say I plan to immediately go to Shenzhen? thanks

    • Won’t be a problem. Tons of people have no intention of staying in HK and go straight to China.

    • Lish says:

      Hi, I am planning a day visit to Shenzhen on 19th April. Would you be going the same date? Hoping to have a fellow Australian get a VOA for Shenzhen together as I too am new to this.

  23. Thorsten says:

    Hey, I yesterday crossed into Shenzhen by Huanggong with a German passport.
    No problem, the whole visa thing too maybe 5 minutes, friendly and fast

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