How To Get the China E-Channel as a Foreigner (Yes, even Americans!)

Michael MicheliniBlog, Lifestyle, Travel69 Comments

Looking to cross the China border like a VIP? Then you need the China e-channel!

One of the biggest headaches for us as “cross border” business people, specifically those crossing the China and Hong Kong border on a regular basis, is the border! Here at Global From Asia we have an extensive guide covering Hong Kong border crossings and have met even more people in our shoes.

We have gotten tons of comments and emails from readers and friends to optimize this border crossing, and today we are sharing some new tips – getting the China E-Channel. Thanks to Cameron Walker who gave us the tip, as well as some others who gave hints on the comments section of our Hong Kong border crossing post.

Now let’s dig into getting this puppy!

Related: Looking to travel around all of Asia like a VIP? Check our guide on getting an APEC card.

Related: Just want a normal visa to enter Mainland China? Here’s our free guide on getting a visa for your passport to enter Mainland China with various options.

In a Rush? Download as a PDF Guide Book

You may be in a rush (who isn’t), or with limited internet and want to have a PDF copy of this guide on your computer / mobile phone while you are applying for this Echannel access. Helpful to show them at the border, download yours now!

Download the PDF Guide Now!

First, What Is the E-Channel?

For those who have crossed the border a few times may have noticed that about half the border are these pods people are walking through. It’s a way to “skip” talking to a customs official and place your ID card or passport on the scanner. The door opens, and you then go inside the “pod”.

In the pod they take your fingerprint and scan your face. Once they see that these matches you on the file, the door to enter (or leave) China is complete.

No stamps, no talking to a customs official, and normally no line or a very fast moving line.

There is an e-channel on each side of the border, the Hong Kong side and the Mainland China side.

Today’s guide is for getting the Chinese side e-channel.

Applying For The E-Channel

So, sounds pretty slick right? A couple of weeks ago, I started hearing rumors that this was open to foreigners now, but no one I knew got it yet. So, being the cross border guinea pig that I seem to have become, time to test it.

I travel across borders at night normally, so the first couple times I crossed, it was closed.

Hours To Apply

At Shenzhen Bay border, as well as at Huanggang border, they told me the hours to apply are between 8am and 6pm. And don’t get there at 5:45pm either, they wouldn’t let me apply when I arrived at that time because they said each application takes 10 minutes and there is a queue ahead of me already.

Finding Where To Apply

So you apply at the border, on the China side. At Shenzhen Bay it is on the departure side (Leaving China) floor, which is floor 2, BEFORE you leave China, inside of the building. I would put photos here, but they don’t allow photos or videos (or even phone calls) inside the customs building.

At Futian Checkpoint, it’s on the 3rd floor at the end of the hall (just follow the China echannel registry signs)

But you’re looking for an application office for the e-channel. They have decent signs, and if you ask a customs official before going into the line, they will point you to it.

Note for Foreigner Passports on E-Channel Information and Acquisition

If you want, you can read it direct from the sign in the e-channel registry (I had to bargain with a couple officials in order to let them snag me the photo!)

Chinglish included, enjoy!

Requirements for Applying

Once at the application area, don’t expect to speak English to them! I practiced my Chinese and couldn’t make a call to Wendy to translate for me, as they don’t allow phone calls inside. So either bring a Chinese translator / friend, or have decent Chinese language skills to get by.

When I said I wanted to apply, it seems like this really is a new policy, as they all kind of looked at me like it wasn’t possible. But I insisted a bit and after talking to a few people there, they did say foreigners can now apply (this is August 2016, and the policy must have just come out).

Once they accepted that foreigners can apply, they then checked my passport. These are what they were looking for:

  • IC Chip inside.

    New passports have IC chips inside. You can’t see them, but they are in the cover of the passport. My USA passport has it, and at first they couldn’t feel it, but later found it.

  • Have a longer term visa.

    This is something I’ll have to ask my friends on business visas since what I have is a residence permit. Mine is renewing in 4 months, so they deemed that enough time for me to apply. If you try to get it with a business visa and it works (or doesn’t), please let me know so I can update this post.

  • Certain passport holders

    It worked for me with a US passport. But there were others there applying who weren’t allowed to go through the process because of their passports. I tried to sneak a peek at their passport but couldn’t see.

Once they confirm that, they let me into the application room.

Clarification on IC Chip in Passport

We have received a question from a reader in South Africa:

I have a South African passport with a chip. It is on the picture page and not the cover. Can I do e-channel registration?Cross border traveler

In our experience this should work.

What Information They Take When Processing The Application

Once I was allowed to apply, I went into the room. There were about 5 stations with a chair, a camera, fingerprint pad, and a customs official. I sat down and gave them my passport. I thought I would also need to show them my work permit but they didn’t need it.

After filling out some information for me, they printed out a form. I just had to sign it – no need to enter any data (it was already there).

Once signing the paper, they took my photo. Then I had to get both my right and left thumbprint scanned in.

It was pretty fast, and then they said I was all set. They said tomorrow it would be updated.

Using The E-Channel Perk

Ok, so here’s where I got confused. I believe I understand Chinese enough – they said tomorrow I can come back and it’s OK.

Wouldn’t I get a card?

Nope, you will not get any kind of card or receipt or slip of paper. It’s on your passport now.

So they showed me how to use it (after a lot of broken Chinese language efforts talking to them).

Simply go to the China e-channel in an open teller machine. Scan your passport – placing the photo page on the scanner. Then the door will open and you walk in. After you’re inside, use your thumbs to scan in, and then it will take your photo / scan your face. Once the process is done, the door exiting (or entering) China will open and you are in.

Viola! You are now in the VIP express lane to enter and exit Mainland China.

Get on the inside!

E-Channel FAQ

Already getting questions sent to me privately- My buddy Chris Moore asks the following:

Have you used it yet?

Yes, I have used the e-channel. Though only one time since blogging this (as I wanted to get you this information as soon as possible). But I am sure it will keep working (of course unless some policy changes).

Did e-channel cost any money?

No, free! As far as I am writing this post, anyway.

How long did the whole process take?

(clarification on the question) Meaning, from the time you entered Shenzhen Bay port to when you left. And, were you able to go into the Shenzhen Bay customs apply then go back into Shenzhen? Or, did you have to cross the border into Hong Kong then come back?

Answer: I applied while I was already in China. I didn’t exit China (as I didn’t have a need to go to Hong Kong). They told me it would take 1 day (I applied on a Saturday, they said Sunday it would work).

You don’t need a card / don’t need to go back to that station, it will just automatically work at the e-channel line terminal when you go there next. This was hard for me to believe, and that is why the customs official had to take me there myself the first time and show me!

Email From A Blog Reader

Hi, i was wondering if you could give me some advice on how to get the e-Channel access. I will be living in Shenzhen with a tourist visa (multiple entries) and commute to HK for work. Can I get the the e-channel access ? Also, would you have any advice on the taxation regime ? Thank you

Hi Antonino,

If you’re on a tourist visa then you will not be able to get the eChannel. You need a work permit.

Tax regime? If you’re on a tourist visa in China, you should not be earning any income here, so you should be filing taxes where you are a resident.

Can I get the China Echannel on a Tourist Visa?

This question is quite similar to the one immediately preceding, but posting it anyway for more insights:

I actually was investigating getting e-channel because my son lives and works in Beijing and I visit every 3-4 months. I have a 10 yr multi entry tourist visa, but my problem has become more complicated at the border at entry. I have been a nurse for 40 years and my finger prints are practically non-existent. Just more wrinkles and things that are not consistent. My first 2 times through immigration were easy, now they can not get clear prints and the last 2 trips have become a real headache! I am afraid I will get here one time and be denied entry and that scares the hell out of me! Anyway, your blog was quite clear that tourist visa does not qualify you for echannel, but any other advise would be appreciated!!Avid reader

Sorry it is not possible. While I do understand your interest and requirement to visit often…. I’d suggest having a piece of paper in English and Chinese explaining your situation to avoid the regular confusion that, I am sure, happens in your case. Best of luck!

New Visa? Reactivating Your E-Channel

Something I have just learned – when you renew your Chinese visa, your e-channel is deactivated. Not exactly sure what the reason is, but when I got my US passport back with another 1 year residence visa, I took my trip over to Hong Kong. Excited to skip lines in the foreigner area, I went to the e-channel.

Scanning my passport, it popped up an error. Maybe the kiosk isn’t working, hopped over to another “pod”. Still got the same error. Called over a customs official and he was confused as well. A few Hong Kong travelers tried to explain to me e-channel isn’t for foreigners and I need to go to the foreigner line. Trying to explain myself to them that it has worked for me for months, I finally realized it must be something to do with getting a new visa.

I talked to the official and she said yes, now that I have a new visa, I need to update my e-channel. It was late at night, so the e-channel office was closed (closes at 6pm) – so I had to go to the APEC line (APEC rocks – here’s how to get yours).

New Visa – Need To Reapply

So I just went during business hours to the e-channel registry and yes, if you get a new China visa, you need to reapply to the e-channel. It is like I didn’t have it. I told them I already had it before, but I needed to take a new photo, new fingerprints, and wait another business day for it to activate – same as if I applied for the first time.

Basically You Are a “China Foreigner”

I have had friends nickname it as such. A China e-channel is for foreigners in China who have “been here a while” and have the proper documentation to work and reside in Mainland China. Maybe we can start this trend “China foreigner” as there are more and more people (myself included) calling China their long term home. So this is a perk for those of us who have filed the proper long term documentation to remain in China.

Would Love To Hear Your Experiences and Tips

So what makes this blog much more helpful to me (and others) is your comments below. Please let us know if this process worked for you. I did this at the end of August 2016 and who knows what will change with the policy.

I’d love to know what passports you have, and what visas you have to get it (or get rejected) so that we can all figure out the rules and make life crossing this border more effective and helpful.

If you want to read some other popular border crossing guides, as mentioned earlier in the post, we have the Hong Kong border crossing post as well as the APEC card application process.

To your success in international business, and border crossing!

Question From Reader on EChannel

can my colleague with 12-months multi entry business visa apply for e-channel?Olga
Unfortunately you need a work permit to get issued a China side eChannel.

Sean Had a Good Experience at Futian Checkpoint

I’m in Sean Weisbrot’s Wechat group for Expats in Shenzhen – and today (Sept 5, 2017) he filed for China eChannel for the first time. He reported he did it at the Futian Checkpoint. Even though most in his group said to do it from Huanggang border. He said it was a short line, a photo, fingerprints – and tomorrow (they said in 24 hours) he will be good to go.

Seems that border is OK – but also because he did it in the middle of the afternoon and not during rush hour full of commuters. Thanks Sean!

Positive Feedback From New EChannel Readers

We are collecting great emails and feedback from readers – please keep them coming!

Thanks your e-channel post for China saved me many pages in my passport. Just got it done today at Shenzhen Bay. Thanks for the write up.Ambert

Is a China eChannel Worth The Trouble?

We want to hear what you think! Fill out the poll below and also see what others are saying!

Use This E-channel Guide On The Go

Download the PDF Guide Now!

Join our private member's club

Related Posts

Tags: asia, career, china, corporate, e-commerce, ecommerce, entrepreneur, guide, tips

69 Comments on “How To Get the China E-Channel as a Foreigner (Yes, even Americans!)”

  1. Pingback: Bargaining Price and Switching Factories in China with Peter Zapf - GFA138

  2. The Hater

    The article linked to below from the Shenzhen Daily suggests that this policy began on August 26, 2016. It also suggests the eligibility requirements are as follows:

    “Foreigners who hold six-month residence permits can use e-lanes at checkpoints when they leave the mainland.”

    However, I would be interested to see if anyone has first hand experiences of trying to apply with a multiple entry business or tourist visa.

    1. Michael Michelini

      thanks for the info – I think it was a bit earlier than Aug 26 – my friend sent me a Wechat about it on Aug 18 and said it was effective then. I applied on Saturday Aug 20th – though most of the staff didn’t even seem to know about it.

  3. Cameron W

    Here’s a tip. Like you said they use thumbprint and facial recognition. If you are tall, you end up standing there like an idiot in the pod until you notice that it is taking a picture of your neck and you have to adjust the angle of the camera with your hand in order to capture your face. All the prompts are in Chinese telling you that your fingerprint has passed but not your photo so you need to really pay attention. its different than the HK side, which only does the fingerprint.

    I got it in less than 3 minutes at the Futian checkpoint at 8:00 am. Canada passport and residence visa that expired 2 weeks later. They didn’t seem to care.

    1. Michael Michelini

      Glad you got the e-channel – thanks for the tip!

      Its true with the camera I am ducking my head down each time to get the camera to see my full face – think they need to make a “laowai” camera lane lol. Now that so many of us will be getting it.

  4. Pingback: Should You Live in Hong Kong or Shenzhen, China?

  5. Clement

    As of today, 2016 October 16th, the system at Huanggang checkpoint can’t read most of the French passports so applications can’t go through. They told me to “come back later…” after they upgrade their system. They couldn’t tell me when they will upgrade the system.

    The officer told me that actually only a very limited number of French passports can be processed. Would be nice to get feedbacks from fellow French passport holders to know when the situation improves.

    1. Alain Terieur

      Hi! I just applied at Beijing airport with a French passport. Very smooth process, no issue.

  6. JT

    Me an U.S. Passport holder with 10yrs China tourist visa till 2026 ,I got denied because I don’t live or work in China. I do work for an big U.S. airlines and show my work badge id still denied.

    1. Danny Ronen

      Yes, . just had the same issue myself today. You can have a multiple entry business visa, but unless you have the blue permanent resident visa, you can still not get e-channel.

  7. Joseph

    I just tried over the weekend at Shenzhen Bay. I have a 10 year Business visa with 60 day stays in a USA passport. The worker said that I needed something like a “long term residence” permit in China. It seems that this e-channel is only meant to target foreigners living in China, not those of us who travel in and out frequently.

  8. Farz

    I’ve been using the e-channel since the launch and it’s fantastic…when it works. I’ve had 100% success when coming into the airport at both T3 and T2 in Beijing but it’s hit and miss when leaving the airport.

    Recently, a security agent told me that only Air China flights are registered for e-channel. This coincides with when the e-channel has worked so I believe he’s correct. Does anyone have any additional insight? Thanks in advance.

    1. Cameron Walker

      I have used in in Shenzhen at a bunch of crossings with no issues. But when I have traveled to Guangzhou on the train from Hong Kong and Zhongshan on the ferry from Hong Kong, both times it didn’t work. Seems that mine at least is only local to Shenzhen crossings.

    2. SRK

      I had this issue as well. I was travelling domestical to Beijing first and already had all my tickets (T2, first CS then KLM). When departing At Beijing Airport the tickets need to have a special barcode which is only issued from ticket machines at Beijing airport. All Airlines work. The only thing is when you are travelling back to China the airline needs to register its passengers. Until now on only one intl. flight from EU to CN, Air China were the ones who conveniently forgot…

  9. TJ Weber

    Thanks for this info. An update today when I obtained my residence permit (Q1 visa holder) I was able to register immediately and there was no queue so the whole process took less than 5 minutes. I was not crossing the border today, but the officer who took my fingerprints said i could cross 5 minutes later. I was tempted to test it out but I’m too busy today to walk across.

    Best time to do the registration is probably mid week afternoon but not after the lunch break when staff levels might be half.

    She also said the Residence Permit is required. No other visa types are accepted at this time, unlike Hong Kong where frequent visitors can register easily.

    1. TJ Weber

      Another note (yet to be verified) my friend who is a US citizen and passport holder with right to abode in Hong Kong has registered using his HKID card and US passport. But the registration process is different. He still needs some entry-exit documents and a page in his passport but it’s not a Residence Permit that Q and Z visa holders can obtain. When I find out more I will post/update.

      1. Ed

        I am a US passport HKID holder with a 10 yr Chinese tourist visa. Do you know if I can get the echannel pass from mainland China? Greatly appreciate any information you can provide.

  10. Paul P

    Love this page and would like to share my tip!

    I carry a British Passport/ permanent HKID/ ABTC /3 year China visa however was unable to register for the e-Channel as I did not hold a resident visa.

    However I was notified by a kind customs official when I was crossing at Huanggang that I could apply for ‘extra pages’ to my passport. The next time I went through I went to the information counter and asked for extra pages and they provided me with a form to fill in. They took the completed form, passport and HKID card away and then came back with the passport with an official sheet of folded pager stapled to my passport containing and extra 5 sides of visa stamps space for those China stamps.

    Not as great as the eChannel but is a real passport saver! AND it was FREE!

    Hope this helps other travelers.

    1. Michael Michelini

      hi Paul, thanks for sharing – I’m a US passport holder, so I’d need to get extra pages at the US consulate, right? Or these extra pages are for all passports? Its issued by the Chinese government? Is it actually “tied” to your passport?

      1. Jonathan

        Can you tell us where the pages came from? From the China customs? I am a HK resident too. Hong Kong is not part of China where HK ID is concerned!

          1. Paul P

            No, the extra pages are issued by the china government and stapled to your passport. I think one of the requirements is that you must be a Hong Kong resident however but no harm in trying

    2. charlie

      Hi Paul – thanks for the information, its very useful. i will ask next time i go though the Huanggang border. Where is the information office to apply? in the same building as you the china customs and immigration? the office to the left of the passport control? thanks

      1. Paul P

        Hi Charlie – Yes, you can ask at the central information counter to the left of passport control for Foreigners. All you need is a relatively long term visa and a HKID. Good luck!!

    3. Adam

      Thank you for sharing this info, Paul! Do you possibly know if the application for extra pages is available at other border crossings, such as Luohu? It is easier for me to go there than to Huanggang. I recently got HK PR, so I’m eager to apply for these extra pages for visits to China.

  11. SZ frequentFlyer

    Hi, very useful post. I tried to apply when it was first available in August last year at Futian, and at the time they told me they couldn’t scan my passport or read the Chip inside. I hold a turkish passport.

    But after hearing successful attempts from other turkish friends I tried again at Futian in December. And it worked!!

    Officer who handled my application told me they can’t read Most passports, and as she was saying I shouldn’t get my hopes high, it just worked. She said I was lucky! 🙂

    My visa will be renewed very soon, and I am worried if I have to register again and it doesn’t work.

    In Hong Kong when you are on a work visa, e channel/ HKID are automatically updated when you renew your visa.. I was hoping it would be the same with Chinese e channel.

    1. Michael Michelini

      SZ Frequent Flyer,

      Thanks for the comment – ya…. I’m also nervous with these issues coming up – I have renewed mine once without a big problem…. hopefully a new passport should be easy to read. Keep us posted here. 🙂 – Mike

      1. SZ frequentFlyer

        Hi Mike,

        I have not changed my passport, but just renewed the Z visa.

        Headed for Futian Border E channel registration..

        It was super simple, all they did was scanning my passport and officer updated my new visa details into system. No need for fingerprints or pictures re-taken. And they told me I am good to use e channel after 5 minutes.

  12. Pingback: Hong Kong to/from China Border Crossing Guide

  13. Neill Lee

    Is the e-channel registry on Saturdays?
    Just renewed my Residency Permit, but was too late to re-register just now (Friday) but it still worked. Want to go tomorrow (Saturday) to re-register to ensure that it is usable on Monday when I go to work. Thanks in advance for your help.

  14. Neill Lee

    My old Residency Permit (RP) expires on 7th September in under a month’s time and I now have a new one for 1 year. Just went to renew my e-channel registration. It appears that if you re-register your e-channel registration before your old RP expires, they just extend it without going through the entire registration process with fingerprints etc. Again.

    1. Cameron Walker

      I just renewed mine this morning. Got a new visa about a month ago. I didn’t have to fill anything out or re-do fingerprints. Just sat there for 5 minutes while the lady worked on the computer. 5 minutes later could cross the border

  15. BerndR

    Just crossed the border to HK and tried to apply for e-channel but could not as I don’t have a Mainland China resident visa, “just” the HK one (not permanent residency, though). Anyway … it was 8pm and the e-channel application office at the Louhu Checkpoint is still open and does not look as if it would close anytime soon. The office is to the right before the customs booths on the “Manual” “Foreigner” floor.

  16. Nate Fleming

    Just found this info… great stuff!

    One question I haven’t seen asked – what about families? I’m here with my wife and three kids. Can we all take advantage of the e-channel?


  17. Jack

    Just tried this with a US passport, their systems couldn’t read the chip in my passport. Lady said some people’s passports just don’t work. Going till a different port to try because i go back and forth often and it just wastes pages in the passport.

  18. Matt

    I successfully applied today at Shenzhen Bay border (no queue and the officer was efficient, so it was done in 5 minutes). There was a notice though that currently you can only apply successfully, if you have previously used the new fingerprint scanning machines at least twice when entering China. (I think they were implemented in the beginning of this year.)

  19. Linroy

    Will E-Channel work at the international airports, Pudong for example? All of the talk seems to be about border crossing at HK. I have a work permit in Shanghai (US citizen). For years I have had Global Entry for the US and the past 5 years, before moving to China, I had Smart Entry in South Korea. Love not waiting in long immigration lines. It was always rather funny in Korea since I was always the only foreigner in the auto immigration line. Would love to have the same ability in China now. One more question, my wife is not a US citizen, she is Armenian. Any idea if she will be allowed to apply for E-Channel? Thanks.

  20. Frequent Traveler

    @linroy, yes it works at airport arrivals as well.

    For departures, it’s a hit and miss. Boarding pass name must match your passport. I have first and middle names and airlines always print them without space, so I can’t use for Shanghai departures. It works in Beijing though as they have a different system 🙂

    Doesn’t matter which country the user is from :

    All you need is China resident visa, not a tourist one, and e-passport ( passport with a chip inside the cover).

  21. sam

    with no stamp in passport on e channel. How to register in hotels (they always need to see stamp)

    1. Dave O

      Yes , I was wondering the same, especially since I use my passport stamps as proof of travel for reimbursement for our company travel. Boarding passes or e-tickets are not allowed for submission.

      1. SZ frequent Traveler

        Hotels will sometimes asks you to sign a form declaring entry port / date into china. Some hotels just ignore.

  22. Elena

    As a “fresh” expat in china, super helpful. Thank you! Two questions: will e-channel registration from Shenzhen crossing work in airports too? Do you know if Guangzhou airport have registartion for e-channel? Thanks!

  23. Paris

    Went through the e channel Shenzhen Bay immigration yesterday. The automatic door opened after scanning my passport letting me in. But then would not open to let me out.
    Customs officer told me that I had to go through a newer model of gate. So I went back and the officer led me to what seemed a different model with a bigger scanning window.
    So it seems that there are two types of e channel gates. Foreigners et channel works with newer version.

  24. Flying Xiamenite

    My previous passport used to be registered, but in the meantime my (Dutch) passport expired (got a new one) and I have moved out of the Guangdong province and moved up to the Fujian province.
    Unfortunately I cannot register my new passport at the Xiamen airport, which is the airport I frequently use now to move in and out of China. Does anyone have an idea if there is a list of some sorts where I would be able to find other locations where I would be able register my new passport?
    If I can avoid traveling to the south, the better it would be.

  25. Dave O

    Hi – I was wondering where to get a receipt or proof of arrival from E-Channel to replace the passport stamp . I need this for work. Emails. E-tickets and boarding passes not accepted. Also, I need to know if I can hopefully do this after I have left the airport. Its been a few weeks… ;( Any ideas?

  26. Erin

    Hi All,

    Maybe someone can help me… I successfully applied for e channel at Luohu- thanks for all the advice here! But my question is, how do I cross the border with e channel? I looked to do so at Luohu & getting off the high speed rail at West Kowloon- I didn’t see an area for foreigners to exit/ enter the mainland with e channel. Do I need to follow signs for Chinese residents rather than foreigners?

    1. Erin

      Nevermind, figured it out at W Kowloon this week- for anyone else unsure, just follow signs for echannel, not foreigners (at Luohu, these are on different floors) – security still tried to guide me to the foreigner area and seemed surprised when echannel worked for me, so just do your best to explain that you registered and it shouldn’t be a problem.

  27. Stephen B

    does anybody have an answer? I have registered for e-channel again ( sucessfully used for the last 3 years) At the time of registration I had not used the new fingerprint scanning machines. I can use e-channel to depart Shenzhen with no issue. I cannot re-enter through e-channel. It always refuses me and directs me to finger print scanning. I have done this 6 times now and it still wont let me in. I have asked the customs officials and they always redirect me back to registration, truth is they dont know, registration just tells me that I am registered and wont do anything. I really need some help, no one in authority seems to know.

    1. Richard

      Did you manage to settle the issues as I am facing the same problem after my renewal?

  28. Khim schlegel

    i got echanel in hong kong and i got refused to enter hk am i still allowed to use my echanel again? Will it still be working? Need answer please?

    1. John Smith

      There’s 2 separate e-Channel programs; one for Hong Kong & the other for the Mainland. Registering for one doesn’t automatically register you for the other.
      You still need to apply to the mainland’s eChannel.

      1. Jeff

        Just to be sure: you’re saying that one would have to register twice – on the HK and China mainland sides – in order to use e-channel successfully to enter and exit HK and Shenzhen?

  29. Bill Br

    I got the echannel permit. Took me 15 minutes. The U.S. Global Entry took me over a year to get the appointment, had to drive to San Francisco airport and spend the night in a hotel, cost $100 plus travel and 8 hour roundtrip gas–and then they messed up my application. China’s echannel took 5 minutes and was free. I know China has some issues, but in some areas it’s getting pretty good.

  30. Jeff

    I am a South African working in Shenzhen with a residence permit. Can I apply for the e-channel in Hong Kong and will it allow me to enter and exit both sides? My passport was issued in 2011; does anyone know if this contains the smart chip?

    1. John

      When crossing the border, you go through two separate immigration control entities, Hong Kong’s & Mainland China’s.
      They both have their own, distinct eChannel programs, each with their own requirements & registration procedures.

      Registering for HK’s eChannel will only work on their machines. You’ll need to register for (mainland) China’s eChannel separately, to use their eChannel machines.
      Here’s a link for info on HK’s eChannel:

  31. SM SM

    I have an APEC/ABTC card with 5 years validity. Has anyone had any success in getting e-channel clearence with this card?

  32. Roberto

    Really tnx for your guide

    There is one question I didn’t see on your comment. Can I apply e channel if I need to renew my passport but my visa still on my old one (I have 5 years visa). I need to change passport soon because it’s kinda broken and I worry I want be able to apply it if I renew passport (usually as many of us, visa keep on the old one but using new passport to cross boarder. Of course need to show both passport at customer).


  33. philippecn

    Hello, i m currently travelling in yunnan and with the corona virus, I must show the last time i entered china, but my problem is that … I used e channel.. which officalwebsite or wechat mini program to use to show the dataof e channel and prove my last entrance date (people are not supposed to be able to read the stamp of the airport outside of china..

Leave a Reply