China Visa on Arrival (also known as Landing Visa or Port Visa) is a type of visa that allows eligible foreigners to obtain their visa upon arrival at certain ports of entry in China. This is a convenient and fast way to get a China visa without applying in advance.
However, not all travelers can apply for a China Visa on Arrival. There are some restrictions and requirements that you need to know before you plan your trip. In this article, we will provide you with all the essential information about China Visa on Arrival, including who can apply, where to apply, how to apply, and what documents are required.
Who Can Apply for a China Visa on Arrival?
China Visa on Arrival is available for citizens of certain countries who meet one of the following conditions:
- They are invited by the competent authorities or the inviting entity/individual for urgent entry related to business, trade, science, technology, culture, sports, or humanitarian reasons.
- They are part of a group tour (at least two people) organized by a travel agency registered in China or Hong Kong.
- They are visiting one of the four Special Economic Zones in China (Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiamen, and Hainan) for tourism or business purposes.
It is important to note that not all nationalities are eligible for this visa option. Currently, citizens from select countries, including Japan, Singapore, Brunei, and the United Arab Emirates, among others, can apply for the China Visa on Arrival. The US, UK, and French citizens cannot apply for China visas on arrival. You are suggested to check with the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information on eligibility.
Where Can I Apply for a China Visa on Arrival?
There are four Special Economic Zones in China providing port visas on arrival, they are Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiamen, and Hainan. Eligible passengers can apply for a short stay at certain border ports directly. Individuals with a China Visa on Arrival should enter and exit China through the designated port where the visa was issued. They should not exceed the administrative boundaries of the city where the port of entry is located.
The following table shows the details of the visa on arrival in each Special Economic Zone:
|Visa on Arrival||Stay Duration||Eligible Ports||Authorized Stay Areas|
|Shenzhen||5 days||Luohu, Shekou, Huanggang, Fuyong ports, Shenzhen Airport||Shenzhen|
|Zhuhai||3 days||Gongbei, Hengqin, Jiuzhou ports||Zhuhai|
|Xiamen||5 days||Xiamen Airport||Xiamen|
|Hainan||30 days||Haikou Airport, Sanya Airport, cruise ports in Haikou and Sanya||Hainan|
In addition to the Special Economic Zones, some other ports of entry in China may also issue visas on arrival for urgent entry or humanitarian reasons. However, this is not guaranteed and depends on the discretion of the immigration officers. You should always check with the port of entry authorities before you travel.
How to Apply for a Visa on Arrival?
Individuals applying for China Visa on Arrival should submit their application upon arrival at the designated port of entry. For group tours, the organizing travel agency should submit the application to the port of entry authorities on behalf of the travelers. In some cases, the inviting entity or individual can submit the application to the local port of entry authorities before the foreigner’s arrival.
The following documents are required for applying for a China Visa on Arrival:
- A valid passport (with at least six months validity and two blank visa pages).
- A completed Special Economic Zone Visa Application Form.
- A recent passport-sized photo.
- An invitation letter or other relevant documents related to the purpose of urgent entry issued by the competent authorities or the inviting entity/individual.
- For group tours, the tour must consist of at least two people. The organizing travel agency should provide an invitation letter, a list of group members, and a travel itinerary approved by the relevant authorities when applying for a group L visa.
The visa fee varies depending on the nationality of the applicant and the type of visa issued. The fee can be paid in cash or by credit card at the port of entry. The processing time is usually about 10 minutes, but it may take longer during peak hours or holidays.
Alternatively, you can fill in the Application Form online on website of COVA – China Online Visa Application (https://cova.mfa.gov.cn). Then, make an appointment, print out the completed applicant form and appointment slip, go to embassy/consulate or Visa Service Center to submit materials, pay visa fees, wait for notice, pick up visa and passport.
Please note that China Visa on Arrival is not a guaranteed option, and it is subject to change without prior notice. You should always confirm with the port of entry authorities before you travel. If you are not eligible for a visa on arrival or you want to avoid any risks or hassles, you are advised to apply for a China visa in advance through the Chinese embassy, consulate, or Chinese Visa Application Service Center in your country.
Frequently Asked Questions:
No, you can only apply for a visa on arrival at certain ports of entry that offer this service. The most common ports are those in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiamen, and Hainan. Some other ports may also issue visas on arrival for urgent entry or humanitarian reasons, but this is not guaranteed and depends on the discretion of the immigration officers. You should always check with the port of entry authorities before you travel.
The duration of stay depends on the type and location of your visa on arrival. For example, if you get a visa on arrival in Shenzhen, you can stay for up to 5 days within Shenzhen city. If you get a visa on arrival in Hainan, you can stay for up to 30 days within Hainan province. You should always check your visa stamp or sticker for the exact duration and validity of your visa.
No, you cannot extend or renew your visa on arrival in China. If you want to stay longer than your visa allows, you need to apply for a new visa at the local Exit and Entry Administration of the Public Security Bureau before your visa expires. However, this is not easy and may require additional documents and fees. You are advised to plan your trip carefully and apply for a visa in advance if you need a longer stay.
No, you cannot travel to other cities or regions in China with a visa on arrival. You must enter and exit China through the designated port where the visa was issued. You must also stay within the administrative boundaries of the city or province where the port of entry is located. If you want to travel to other parts of China, you need to apply for a regular China visa in advance.
The main advantage of applying for a visa on arrival is that it is convenient and fast. You do not need to apply for a visa in advance or wait for a long time to get your visa. You can get your visa within minutes upon arrival at the port of entry. This is especially useful for travelers who have urgent or unexpected trips to China.
The main disadvantage of applying for a visa on arrival is that it is not a guaranteed option, and it is subject to change without prior notice. You may face risks or hassles such as being denied entry, paying higher fees, waiting in long queues, or having limited travel options. You also need to meet certain eligibility criteria and provide relevant documents to apply for a visa on arrival. If you are not eligible or you do not have the required documents, you may be refused a visa on arrival.