Thursday, March 7, 2013

Getting the Chinese Visa on Arrival

Again back in Hong Kong, I seriously consider the possibility to visit Shenzhen for 5 days. I checked in internet and apparently there was a visa on arrival available to purchase on the border.

Without getting any reliable information, I decided to give a try to China for 5 days. After contacting some people, I take the MTR (definitely the easiest option). A ticket from Central should cost you around 45HK$.

The borders: If it couldn't be any more complicated, they have different names in any side of the border: Lok Ma Chau in Hong Kong turns to be Futian Checkpoint at the Chinese Border. Lu Wu in Hong Kong mysteriously changes into Luohu as soon as you pass the border and enter in China.

At the time of this travel, It was impossible to get visa on arrival at Lok Ma Chau, so I had to take the MTR back to the junction in Sheung Shui and get another train heading to Lo Wu.

Scary, eh?

Once you exit the Hong Kong border , keep walking through the Duty free area and in your left side going up there are some escalators that will lead into the Immigration Office. For countries without reciprocal agreement, the fee is 168 yuan payable in cash only (other nationalities as Angola, Armenia, Bolivia, Brazil, Britain, Chile, Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Mexico, Moldova, Panama, Poland, Romania, Russian, Ukraine, Venezuela and Bulgaria please refer to the photo.)At this time, it was not any information about US Citizens being able to get the visa on arrival. Still, do not worry, if by any reason you are unable to get the Chinese visa, there is a clearance office and you will be granted a new entry into Hong Kong.
Immigration Office at the border

List of countries with reciprocal agreement (better than your country is not there!)

In less than 20 minutes, you will have your visa only valid for Shenzhen area at the passport! Ready to enjoy!

My first Chinese visa!
And good news guys:
There is a possibility to get 3 Months Tourist Visa on arrival for China!

Lately everything seems to be more relaxed once you are closer to Hong Kong. Just providing the hotel reservation or if visiting a Chinese friend, a copy of his/her ID and upon payment of 450 yuans, you can get your 3 month tourist visa for China. And you just need to wait for 1 hour! The office open from 8 to 4pm with one hour lunch break at 12pm.

Also to have in consideration:
  • Once you cross the border, the ability to speak English is much limited.
  • There is many Currency Exchange offices  in both side of the border. Changing HK$ to yuans is the best options, they all offer competitive rates (not the same for other currencies).

If you wish to purchase Chinese SIM card, there are some shops at Luohu port that sell it for 100yuans. If you consider that you don’t need a SIM card for 5 days (as I did) there are many of this small shops that will borrow you the landline to make the call. The prices is 1 yuan per minute (2 if calling mobile phones in China)
  • Typical guys at the border will jump at you once you exit the port offering fake handbags or taxi rides. You don’t need any taxi, the Underground is ride there and it is very easy to navigate and very cheap (between 2-5 yuans per ride)

Have you been in China? Did you manage to get the visa?


Agness Walewinder said...

We are experts when it comes to Chinese visa.Great post Noelia! :-)and we agree with limited English spoken in China LOL. How are the Philippines? China's missing you!!

Noelfy said...

I know, you are really expert! I remember Cez was able to say even the letter of the visas!

Here is amazing and imagine! I am going tonight to Tubbataha, one of the most beautiful places of the world for diving! see u in one week!! :D

Mikael said...

Found this through google.
I am curious about the 3 month visa on arrival since this is the first time I hear about it.
Is it single, double or multi-entry?

Living in Shenzhen myself this would be an easy option when my family from back home wants to visit.

Noelfy said...

It is a single entry only.

I would not really rely on it to bring people from far away (depending of your nationality) as we know China is constantly changing immigration policies.

If your family can get a regular tourist visa on advance, I would vouch for that option!

Getting a Chinese Visa on arrival would suit to land traveler that suddenly change plans and want to visit China entering through Hong Kong- Shenzhen.

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