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China Visa on Arrival (China Port Visa)

China Visa

Foreigners are normally required to obtain a visa before they arrive in China. Certain foreigners may apply for a visa on arrival (VOA) at certain China entry ports. 

Continue to read whether you can have a chance to get a visa on arrival. 

1. Visa on Arrival in Beijing/Shanghai

If it is too late to go to a Chinese embassy (consulate) or Visa Application Center to apply for a visa, or you feel the home-country visa procedures are more hassle, you can use our hassle-free visa service.

With 3 years of arranging Beijing/Shanghai port visas, we know the policy well and are familiar with the process of visa application.

All you need to do is provide us a photo of your passport, and we’ll handle your visas.

Different from the visa on arrival in Special Economic Zones (mentioned below) or the 72/144 visa-free transit policy, Beijing/Shanghai port visas allow you to stay up to 30 days and explore most of China.

2. Visa on Arrival in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Xiamen

Visitors from most countries may obtain an entry visa when traveling to and staying solely in the three Special Economic Zones: Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Xiamen. The port visa administration offices in the three zones can issue Special Economic Zone (SEZ) visas.

Visa on Arrival Valid for Eligible Ports Areas Allowed to Stay
In Shenzhen 5 days Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, Luohu Port, Huanggang Port, Shekou Port and Fuyong Port Shenzhen
In Zhuhai 3 days Gongbei Port, Hengqin Port and Jiuzhou Port Zhuhai
In Xiamen 3 days Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport Xiamen

Who Can Apply

visa on arrival

Passport holders of most European and developed countries can get a visa on arrival in Shenzhen, such as Australia, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Spain, and Ireland.

Nationals of the following countries are not eligible for the SEZ visa for Shenzhen: 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, and some of the southeast Asian countries. 

Note: The situation is subject to changes. Citizens of countries not mentioned should contact the relevant Chinese embassy or port to ask if they can apply for the Shenzhen visa on arrival. 

How to Apply

You need to prepare a valid passport and money. It is convenient to apply for it in three steps. The process takes about 10 minutes:

  • 1. Complete a visa application form.
  • 2. Submit the visa application form and your passport, and answer the required questions.
  • 3. Pay the visa fee.

The Cost of the Visa

It costs CNY 168 for applicants of most countries, but CNY 304 for UK nationals based on a reciprocal basis. The visa fee will only be charged in CNY as cash on the spot.

3. Visa on Arrival in an Emergency

It is possible to apply for a visa on arrival if you are in an emergency situation, mostly related to business purposes or a life-and-death matter. You are always required to offer an invitation from an accredited Chinese organization.

Valid Ports

China ports of entry offering port visas include Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Guilin, Haikou, Hangzhou, Heihe, Jinan, Kunming, Manchuria, Nanjing, Qingdao, Sanya, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Suifenhe, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi’an, Weihai, Yantai, and Zhuhai.

Who Can Apply

  • Foreigners who are invited at short notice to attend trade fairs by their Chinese hosts.
  • Foreigners who are invited to China to submit tenders or sign economic and commercial contracts.
  • Foreigners who go to China under contract for supervision of export shipment, import commodity inspection, or goods checked on the completion of a contract.
  • Foreigners who are invited for emergency installation/repair of equipment or engineering projects.
  • Foreigners who are invited to solve a problem relating to claims under the request of the Chinese host.
  • Foreigners who are invited to China to provide technical consulting services.
  • Foreigners who have a last-minute change in visa status after their visas are granted, with the consent of the presiding Chinese authority.
  • Foreigners who go to China to visit seriously ill patients or to handle funeral issues.
  • Foreigners who cannot leave China by air within 24 hours due to force majeure and who need to use other means of transportation.
  • Invited foreigners who have no time to apply for visas from Chinese overseas visa authorities and hold letters from the designated authorities approving application for a visa at the port of entry.
Passport

Documents Required

  • Valid passport
  • Completed visa application form
  • Recently taken passport photo
  • Invitation letter and supporting documents concerning urgent entry into China, written by the relevant competent inviting organization/individual.

How to Apply for Port Visas

  • Individuals apply in person to the port visa administration office after arrival at the port. Tour groups apply via the travel agency organizing the tour at the port visa administration office.
  • Institutions/individuals can apply for port visas for foreigners before they arrive at the port at the local port visa administration office.

Validity

The port visa administration office shall issue port visas with an entry period of no more than 5 days for individuals and 15 days for groups, and a stay period of no more than 30 days.

Individuals holding port visas should enter China through a specific port, while tour groups may enter China through all open ports.

Under particular circumstances, foreigners should stay in the designated port area and leave from a designated port, as per the requirements of the port visa administration office.

Important: It is not guaranteed that a landing visa will be issued to every tourist. It is advisable to get a visa before departure. See how to apply for a China visa

Touring China with China Highlights

China Tour Our guests on Great Wall, Beijing

Now, many major cities in China such as Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing,  and Tianjin have had a 144-hour (6-day) visa-free transit policy for passengers from 53 countries. It is possible for you to enjoy a visa-free tour in China.

We can customize a tour for you to make the most of your time in China. Just let us know your interests and requirements.

Here are our most popular China tours, for inspiration:

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Start planning your tailor-made China tour by contacting ​one of our specialists... Create My Trip

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