Just like in any other international airport, going to China requires every passport holder to get a Visa. To many, getting a Visa is quite difficult and time consuming – most especially to international business traveller whose time is money. However, if you plan to go to China and stay for not more than 5 days, acquiring a visa is easy and can actually be acquired upon arrival at Shenzhen. Whether you’re travelling to China for business or for pleasure, this 5-day Visa upon arrival is great.
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding this 5 day VOA Visa.
How to get 5 day VOA Visa:
First off, to acquire this type of Visa, you must travel by land from Hongkong. Hopping across to Shenzhen China from Hongkong make this 5 day visa on arrival possible and less complicated.
What you’ll need:
Passport, immigration form, and money to pay the visa.
Which passport holders can it apply to?
Most European and developed countries are eligible for the five-day VOA, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Korea, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. (source)
Where can I get a Visa on arrival?
The single entry five-day VOA is always available at Luohu (Lo Wu) Port. It is available intermittently at Huanggang Port, Shekou Port and Fuyong Port. There is no office at Futian Port although it is only a few hundred meters from Huanggang Port. (source)
How to get to Luohu Port from Hongkong:
Luohu Port: The easiest and simplest way to get to Luohu Port is by taking the MTR East Rail Line going to Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau Station. Upon arrival, just follow the signs that say “Foreigners” and look for a sign that says “Port Visa”, you should be able to apply for your visa there. Travel time should be under an hour. You can apply for VOA from 6:30 am to mid night.
If you’re coming directly from HK Airport: (source)
- from Hong Kong Airport take the Airport Express to Tsing Yi Station
- transfer to the MTR
- take a train to Lai King station and change
- take a train to Prince Edward Station and change
- take a train to Kowloon Tong where you transfer to the East Rail Line
- catch a train to Wo Lu/Luo Hu border
Huanggang Port: From Tsim Sha Tsui, there’s a bus that goes directly to Huanggang Entry Port, travel is time is about 40 minutes. If you prefer to take the MTR: Central > Mong Kok > Mong Kok East Station > Lok Ma Chau Station > Huanggang border. Huanggang port is a full-time port in China, it means you can apply for VOA at the immigration any time of the day.
Shekou Port: The easiest way to get to Shekou Port is by ferry. Premier Jetfoil from Hong Kong International Airport to Shenzhen Airport departs at 19:10 every day, and the number is 8S133, while that from Shenzhen Airport to HKIA departs at 18:00 every day, and the number is 8S313. (source) You can apply for VOA at Shekou Port during these hours: 9 am to 1pm, and then 2:30pm to 5:00pm
When was this 5 day visa on arrival introduced?
The Shenzhen Visa upon arrival was reintroduced earlier this year, but this was long implemented. There’s already a 5 day VOA in 2008, when Beijing Olympics took place.
When was it last updated?
The thing about Chinese government is that it likes to switch and change the rules over which nationalities are eligible for the visa. In fact, the Chinese Foreign Ministry clearly pointed out that the list of eligible nationalities is subject to change without prior notice, hence there really is no way to obtain a final list of nationalities eligible / not eligible to enter China.
How much does it cost?
This 5 day visa’s cost depends on your nationality. For most nationalities, it costs around 160RMB. I’ve read somewhere that the visa fee for American Passport Holder is around RMB 956, and 469RMB for UK passport holders.
What can you do in Shenzhen China for 5 days?
Shenzhen is one of China’s most successful and fastest growing special economic zones. Here’s what you can do with your 5 day visa:
Shop: Coco Park, Yitian Holiday Plaza, KK Mall and CR Vientiane City plaza – these are the top shopping malls of Shenzhen. If you plan to shop for Electronics, the SEG computer market is the best place to go – this is known for its largest collection of electronic retailers in Asia. If you like to shop for clothes and handicrafts, you may want to try shopping at Dongmen Area – where you can find streets filled with clothing merchandise, and huge shopping centers. Basically, shopping at Shenzhen is quite overwhelming, it’s more like a maze of shops catering almost everything you could think of.
Eat: Dim sum, Chinese seafood dishes, Sichuan hot pot, Teochew cuisine and Chow mein – make sure not to miss all these Chinese food while you’re at Shenzhen.
Do Business: Shenzhen has the best hardware factories and has a wide variety of products you might want to check out for future/existing business venture.
Tourist Spots: Window of the World, Shenzhen Central Park, OCT East, Coco Park, China Folk Culture Village – these are just some of Shenzhen’s many tourist spots.
Important Things to Know Before Visiting Shenzhen with 5-day VOA
1. You are only allowed to stay at Shenzhen urban area and countryside
2. Visa-on-arrival expires exactly at 5th day, and you should leave China before it expires
3. Those not eligible for VOA like Indonesians and Filipinos, can get fined for entering without valid Chinese visa.
4. You should bring your old passports (probably to check countries you have previously gone to)
5. Only RMB is accepted for visa payment.
6. If you overstay, you might end up at China’s Public Security Bureau and face a hefty fine.