How to get a Chinese Visa in Hong Kong – Index
Before you begin
If you can’t apply for a visa in your country of residence because you already live in Asia or you’re traveling, Hong Kong is still the best place to get one.
In the first part of this article, we’ll explain where you can apply for a visa in Hong Kong (you can use an agency or go directly to the CVASC), and which documents are necessary for getting a visa.
In the second part of this article, we’ll explain how to travel from China to Hong Kong in the quickest and cheapest way in order to get a visa.
Note that all the information that you’ll find in this article is the result of our own personal experience since we’ve applied for many visas in Hong Kong, starting way back in 2012.
For more general information on Chinese Visa, I suggest you read Chinese Visa application: A complete guide.
Do I need a Visa to visit Hong Kong?
If you are an American, Canadian, Australian or European (from E.U, I mean) citizen, then you don’t need a Visa as long as you stay for less than 90 days (British people can stay 180 days). If you come from another country, you should go to this page to check whether you need a Visa or not.
Once you arrive in Hong Kong, a customs officer will stick a “Visa exemption” ticket on your passport, which specifies for how long you can legally stay in Hong Kong without a Visa.
In the second part of this article, I’ll provide all the Visa costs in HKD (Hong Kong Dollars). Keep in mind that at the time of writing, 10 HKD = 1.29 USD = 1.16 Euro (you can find the exchange rate in real-time here).
Where can I get a Chinese Visa in Hong Kong?
Option A: Using an agency
First Update: At the moment, according to our readers, this is the easiest solution (unless you hold a Hong Kong resident permit).
Second update: Generally speaking, if during the last twelve months you have already obtained one or two Chinese Visas in Hong Kong, it’s going to be hard to get more than a 14 day tourist or business Visa (unless you have a legit invitation letter from a Chinese company).
If you aren’t one of those people that basically live in China with a tourist or business visa, then you should be able to obtain at least a 60 day tourist Visa (double entry, this means that you’ll have to exit and reenter China after 30 days) or a multi-entry 6-12 month business visa.
Note that if you obtain a multi-entry business Visa of 90, 180 or 365 days, you’ll have to exit China every 30, 60 or 90 days (according to the Visa you will get).
Moreover, in order to obtain a business visa with a duration of 90, 180 or 365 days, usually you must have already obtained in the past a Chinese Visa outside the Chinese territory and have in your passport at least a stamp from the Chinese immigration office (that is you have already been in China).
If you applied for your Visa through an agency before August 2013, it was possible to obtain it within five hours. Nowadays, the rush service is two working days (that is, 24 hours because in China, the day on which you apply is included in the working days) for short term tourist and business Visas, and up to fifteen working days for a 6 or 12 month business Visa (according to the situation).
There are a lot of visa agencies in Hong Kong. Personally, I like Forever Bright. With the normal service (4 working days), you’ll pay 750 HKD for a single entry L or M Visa and 970 HKD for a double-entry L or M visa (30 days per entry).
The prices for the faster services (two or three working days) are 1,170 HKD and 1,720 HKD, respectively.
However, there are many exceptions; you can check the price for your nationality by following this link.
The multi-entry 6-12 months visa isn’t available for all nationalities and will cost you between 1,370 and 2,890 HKD (however we heard of people that paid up to 8,000 HKD; thus we advise you to contact the agency well in advance, in order to know what fee you will have to pay in your case).
Here is their address and contact information of Forever Bright Agency:
Rooms 916-917, New Mandarin Plaza Tower B
14 Science Museum Road,
T.S.T. East, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2369 3188
The easiest way to find the agency is to take the subway to Tsim Sha Tsui East Station, leave through exit P2 and walk North on Mody Road (just turn left at the exit) up until the intersection at Science Museum Road, where the agency is located. From the P2 exit, it takes about ten minutes to get to the office.
The other agency that seems to be quite good is CTS (China Travel Service), located at the Hong Kong airport. I’ve heard that here, you’ll need at least three working days to get your Visa.
Option B: The Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC)
If you don’t want to use an agency, then you will have to apply for your Visa at the CVASC (unless you own a special passport).
Here the address and contact information:
Address: 20/F, Capital Center, 151 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Business Hours: Monday-Friday (closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays)
Submission of Applications and Payment: 9:00 to 16:00 (Urgent service before 12:00)
Collection: Regular Service: 10:00 to 17:00, Express and Urgent Service: 12:00 to 17:00
Tel: + 852 29921999
Fax: + 852 29891116
Email: [email protected]
Here you can find most of the information you will need (including the list of required documents, according to the type of Visa you want to apply for).
Here you find the Visa fees.
Here you can schedule an appointment for your Visa application.
Option C: The Consular Department Office (not applicable for ordinary passports)
Update: Since January 2018, this option is not applicable anymore for ordinary passports. Thus, if you own an ordinary passport, your only options are to apply with an agency or at the CVASC.
Although we don’t have any first-hand experience with it, If you have a diplomatic passport, it seems you can still apply for your Chinese Visa at the Consular Department Office. It’s close to Wan Chai subway station. The exact address is:
7th Floor, Lower Block, China Resources Building
26 Harbour Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong Island
Tel: +852 3413 2424 (here you find working time and email address)
In general, a single entry Visa costs 200 HKD, a double-entry visa 300 HKD and a multiple-entry visa 500 HKD. However, we are talking about China! This means that there are many exceptions. For example, American citizens have to pay 1100 HKD for any kind of Visa, and British citizens need to pay 360 HKD for a single entry one, 540 HKD for a double entry one and 1090 HKD for a multiple-entry Visa. There are also exceptions for other countries; you can find the complete price list here.
It takes four working days to get your Visa; however, you can apply for the express service if you want to have it within three working days (you’ll pay 200 HKD extra), or the rush service if you want to get the Visa within two working days (you’ll pay 300 HKD extra).
Note that the day on which you apply is included in the working days, so if you apply for a rush Visa on Monday you’ll get it on Tuesday. Also, take note that for some nationalities (France, for instance), express and rush Visa service isn’t available. Don’t ask me why; this is just the way it is!
If you are planning to stay in a hotel and have no interest in visiting the city, then the rush service is more convenient, as hotels in Hong Kong are quite expensive. This means that you’ll end up spending more than the 300 HKD extra needed for the rush Visa process.
The list of necessary documents for obtaining a visa at the consular office
Here’s a testimonial from our reader, Enrico Penna (edited by me).
Getting a visa at the consular office is complicated because, even if they require various documents, the complete list of the specific documents needed isn’t published anywhere, and moreover, when they deny you at the counter, of the many necessary documents they tell you only one at a time in a way that you won’t even get it the next time around.
Between my direct failings and those of other unfortunate ones, I believe I’m able to provide a complete list of necessary documents:
- The application form, which among other things must be compiled without errors or omissions otherwise they’ll make you fill it out all again (losing your place in line);
- Photocopy of your passport, including the Hong Kong immigration slip (the so-called “Visa exemption”), a small rectangle of White paper that they give you at Passport control (when you arrive in Hong Kong), often without stapling a page. Note that if you’re not paying attention and lose it, you’re screwed;
- If you’re more than one applying for a visa, they don’t accept two copies of the same page; each passport must have a good A4 photocopy;
- Copy of your round trip air ticket in both English and Chinese; if your agency has printed it in another language (such as Italian), it will be denied even if your name, airline, booking number and flight information are clearly visible;
- Copy of your hotel reservation in China, also in English or Chinese and must absolutely have your name (and the names of all people that are applying for the Visa and will stay at the same hotel) clearly visible; Booking.com had sent me a receipt via e-mail in Italian with a booking code but no name and I had to return to the site to print a copy in English;
- Depending on the number of days of your stay, which they deduce for your flight dates, they can ask for proof of your booking for the entire length of your stay in China. The problem is that if you explain to them that you don’t have an exact itinerary and will decide where to stay from day to day, there’s a very strong possibility that they’ll refuse your visa;
- This aspect is really controversial and discretional; I saw a Pakistani pass through with just bookings for the first two days in Shenzhen; whereas a French couple was chased off and had to appeal to their agency because they only had a pair of bookings for almost a month-long stay;
- To conclude, if you’re traveling with a minor child, you’ll also need a birth certificate in English and two copies of the parents’ passports.
Luo Hu: The border between Shenzhen (China) and Hong Kong S.A.R.
How to get to Hong Kong from China Mainland
Hong Kong by plane
If you are coming from Europe or the U.S., you can just take a flight to Hong Kong International Airport. Then take the subway or a taxi to your hotel (click here to read our reviews of the best luxury, medium-range and economic hotels in Hong Kong).
However, if you live in China and are coming to Hong Kong to renew your Visa or for a Visa run, you may want to consider taking a plane to Shenzhen, a Chinese city located just across the Hong Kong S.A.R. border.
Why? Because a domestic flight from any Chinese city to Shenzhen is usually cheaper than an international flight from any Chinese city to Hong Kong. Click here to learn what are the best website to book a flight in China or Hong Kong.
Once you get to Shenzhen, you can take line 1 of the subway from the airport to Luo Hu station, which is located on the border with the Hong Kong S.A.R. It will take ab out 90 minutes, as you have to cross all of Shenzhen.
At this point, you can cross the border by walking (it takes from 10 to 30 minutes depending on the line) and then take the Hong Kong subway to downtown (about 50 minutes). The total price is about 80 HKD.
The other option is the bus that departs from the arrivals floor at Shenzhen airport and arrives at Tsim Sha Tsui Station, which is in Kowloon but very close to Hong Kong island, and which takes about 90 minutes (if there isn’t too much traffic at the border).
Even though you have to take two buses, one to the border and the second from it, it is only one ticket (I think it costs 150 HKD). The first bus drops you off at the border, which you have to cross by walking, while the second bus waits for you across the border (it’s all explained on the ticket).
If this trip from Shenzhen to Hong Kong seems too complicated to you, you can fly directly from China to Hong Kong. In this case, I suggest you to read our guide on how to book a flight ticket in China.
Hong Kong by train
The other possibility is to take a train from any Chinese city to Shenzhen and then cross the border at Luo Hu (the train station is quite close).
Take note that a hard sleeper ticket on the night train from Shanghai to Shenzhen will cost you 470 Chinese Yuan while a plane ticket is worth around 650 Yuan. Since the difference in price is relatively small and the train is way slower (around 15 hours instead of 2), I usually go by plane.
Frequently Asked Questions
According to many comments we receive, it is possible – even if in theory such visas should be requested in the country to which you belong. They’ve told us that the key is, besides having all your documents in order, having an invitation letter that clearly specifies that the visa be applied for in Hong Kong.
From two to four business days including the day you apply for your visa.
Click here to read our reviews of the hotels we recommend in Hong Kong.
It depends on the type of visa you apply for and what you manage to get. Note that if for example you apply for a two-entry tourist visa of 30 days each, you won’t necessarily be issued that exact visa.
It is possible, depending on the case, that they’ll just issue you a single entry visa of 30 days (or less).
Yes, we have applied for – and obtained – several times a visa in Hong Kong.
Photo Credits: Auf nach China by Max Braun
Im in HK with HKPR. I need to apply for Mvisa to China to renew my china work/residence permit with my other nationality passport. I was told I cannot apply because I’m a HKPR. Is there a way on this.
Ignoring the current restrictions to travel. I have a job offer from China in the future and have been asked to get some documents (certificates and qualifications etc) attested/verified by the local Chinese embassy. I called the HK consulate and visa service today and they couldn’t help and had not heard of this procedure before. Do you know where I can go in HK to get documents verified for the purposes of a Z visa application?
Any information would be great.
Sapore di Cina says
Hi, I am not an expert about that and you may need the help of a legal advisor. However, since you are already in China (Hong Kong official documents should be valid in Mainland) the procedure is different. You need to find a company to help you to do the (公证， 认证， gongzheng， renzheng, oficial translation and legalization). If you don’t know where to do it you can ask your consulate in HK.
rhonda d. says
Getting an extension for Chinese visitor visa may not be possible for a foreign national in the country. The best thing to to is to re-apply for another visitor visa so you’ll be able to stay in the country.
Sorry I don’t understand your comment, what you mean to re-apply? Going back to your country to apply again for the visa?
Hi. Thanks for all this info. I am a Spanish citizen who will apply for a (regular single-entry 30 day tourist) Chinese visa in Hong Kong, because unfortunately I don’t have time to get it in my own country, before I fly to Asia.
My question is basically why several blogs and sources claim that it is better to go to an agency rather than to the CVASC, since they are more expensive and actually asked me for more documents. Is there really a difference in terms of how likely you are to be accepted/denied the visa, depending on where you go? It just seems strange to me, but I am generally inexperienced when it comes to applying for visas, so I wanted to ask. I already got one Chinese tourist visa in 2018 at the CVASC in Spain, by the way, and it seemed pretty straightforward.
Thanks in advance.
PS: If you’re kind enough to answer a second question…I don’t have entry/exit flights to mainland China, because I will fly to/from Hong Kong and actually enter/exit mainland China by train. This didn’t keep me from getting a visa back in 2018, and simply providing hotel bookings showing when I would enter and leave the country was apparently enough. But I hear that it can be an issue. In your experience, do you think it might be a problem? Should I book some random cheap flights into and out of mainland China just to try to make sure that I will get the visa?
The problem is that probably the CVASC will refuse your application if you are not a Hong Kong resident.
If you don’t have an exit flight it can be a problem but this is another reason to go through an agency (they have much more experience)
Also, you can check our Spanish version of the website
I’d like to get someone to reply to these answers if possible.
I’m a Comoros 🇰🇲 citizen currently in china and holding a multiple entry student visa. I have 14 days visa free to HK.
I’ve recently got the notification work permit letter. The HR when she was applying she specified HK as the location where I’ll go to get the entry Z visa:
1. Must I go to HK to get my visa processed or I can do it back home too.
2. How does the Chinese embassy work ? If they can’t do it, they don’t collect the documents at all or they collect them and we should wait for a response from them?
3. In case I go to HK and they reject it, can i immediately fly to my country use the same notification letter and reapply ?
4. In case of rejection, will I still be able to use my student residence permit which is gonna expire next year or they will cancel it?
Hope to find someone who can help and give me the answers of these questions.
Many thanks ;)
1. Probably you can do it back home, but it’s better if you contact the embassy
2. I don’t understand, the embassy collect all the documents necessary to process the visa
3. If you have all the documents it’s difficult they reject it, the hard part is to get the invitation letter from the foreign expert office
4. If you get a new visa, they will cancel any previous visa
James Ward says
Thank you for writing this article it has been really helpful.
I have a couple questions. I originally came to China on a F Visa (expiring 18/07/19) to study and partake in a homestay. I have been offered a job starting in September. My Z Visa should be ready by the end of July/ start of August.
I want to stay in Shenzhen whilst I am waiting for my new Z Visa. So my plan was to book a hotel in Shenzhen for the month however I am concerned that the Visa office might be suspicious about this as I have finished my studying and homestay programme. It will look like I am just staying in Shenzhen with no travel plan.
Would the Chinese Embassy find this suspicious if I am staying in one city for one month with no plan for studying or travelling?
Thanks in advance!
It shouldn’t be a problem (but I can’t be 100% sure).
Kvis Wong says
Hi would like to ask. I’m from Malaysia, I’m holding a Travel Visa in China and is expiring soon. Can i go to Hong Kong to renew and get China M Visa from Hong Kong, is that possible?( If i have the invitation letter.)
Furio Fu says
It shall be possible. However, there is no guarantee that you will get a new visa granted in Hong Kong. They decide case by case
Hi, my Italian passport is going to expire in less than 6 months. Can I still apply through an agency in HK to obtain a short term tourist visa in China?
Furio Fu says
As far as I know, you need a passport valid for at least six months. However, we aren’t an official source, so I recommend you to ask to the agency of your choice
I had a x1 visa and got cancelled for overstaying, can i by any chance get back to china
Furio Fu says
we have no idea.
Dallas Taylor says
Hello good friends! Amazimg website and thread. Lots of useful info. I just want to ask directly, can a US citizen acquire a 10 year, multiple entry tourist visa from Hong Kong? I’m planning to apply in a few weeks and appreciate any relative feedback and/or experience.
Furio Fu says
I suggest you to ask this question to the CVASC or an agency in HK. These things change fast, and what was possible last year or even last month, may not be so relevant to you
Hey there! Probably my question has appeared before but couldn’t find the answer though. My current (L type) visa is valid till 19.01 and since i was told that i can not extend it for the second time (I did already once in December 2018) i want to go to HK and (through some visa agency) apply for double tourist visa. I am a bit concerded though because i heard some rumors lately saying that many applications for tourist visa(s) in HK have been rejected recently. Could someone confirm it/or deny it? In fact how big are chances that my visa application (I travel quite a lot, have different visas from all over the world; not to brag about, I am just thinking whether it might be an issue or not) would be refused? Thank you very much for the answer in advance. Best regards,
Furio Fu says
I can confirm that many people have been denying a new visa in Hong Kong, I saw it with my eyes at the visa office.
The reason is the following: The Chinese don’t like when a person gets too many tourist visas in a row because there is the risk that these people are working in China with a tourist visa.
I can’t tell you “what are your chances”, as the assessment is done according to your “visa history”. However, you could get in touch with the CVASC or an agency there before you fly to Hong Kong, and see if they can provide you with more details
I am in need of some advice.
My family has visited me in China on a S2 visa while I was studying. They were given a 50 day visit. They then asked for an extension of another 50 days. I recently received a job offer and now I have a Z visa. The PSB said that they can not ask for an extension again and that my family needs to get an S1 visa to stay in China longer. Is it possible to change their S2 visa to an S1 visa in Hong Kong?
Sborto Zhou says
You can ask the visa agencies there (normally is it possible but the situation can change). But just consider that the S1 visa have some limitations (not all family members can apply for it). Also you can try to ask in the PSB directly a resident permit for your family associated to yours.
Hi I’m from Denmark 🇩🇰 can I get a Chinese visa at Hong Kong international airport.? Thank you!
No you can’t
Hi I am currently in Shanghai on a student visa that will end in about a month. I plan to go to HongKong to get a ten year visa. Do you know if I can simply change over my visa to a ten year tourists here in Shanghai or you recommend to continue going to Hong Kong? Additionally, Can you confirm with me if you need someone who is from your country or China to write your invitation letter? I appreciate your advice.
Furio Fu says
there are stories of people that got a visa in Shanghai, however they usually used an agency. I’m not sure how to do that, I always went to Hong Kong, as it’s way easier.
Invitation letter can be provided by either a Chinese citizen or a non-Chinese with a resident permit (and a regular rent contract)
Hi thank you for the information provided on your website quite helpful
Concerning the below :
(3) Proof of legal entry or residence status (applicable to those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship) (3) Proof of legal entry or residence status (applicable to those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship)
Which document is required ? is a work permit stamp on a passport is enough ?
Furio Fu says
I’m not sure I understand your question: if you are talking about the “legal entry” in Hong Kong, basically you have to show that you legally entered the country. So any visa / work permit / passport stamp (if you don’t need visa) will be enough
“With the rush service, you’ll pay 750 HKD for a single entry L or M Visa ”
Sure about that? On their website http://www.fbt-chinavisa.com.hk/services.html#l
it says HKD760.00 for 4-day service & HKD1720.00 for 2-day service. Last year it was definitely cheaper, for what I remember.
Furio Fu says
we can’t keep all the articles updated in real time. We do our best to update the visa articles at least 1-2 times per year, but things may change faster.
That’s why we add the links of the websites. It’s always best to double check, in order to get an updated quotation
I’m currently a student in China on a X visa, and next semester I’m going to work in China.
Is it possible to change my visa from a X to a Z in Hong Kong?
And how long time does this usually take?*
Furio Fu says
some people were successful with it, even if it’s not the standard way, and thus we can’t really forecast if you will get the visa or not
Getting the visa itself doesn’t take much, the difficult part is to get all the right documents, to get get the visa
Hi, I heard rumors that for Dutch nationals it is no longer possible to apply for the work permit in Hongkong, you have to get it from the Chinese embassy in your home country. Do you know if this is true? I am currently in China and would prefer to go to Hongkong rather than fly back to Europe. Thank you! Also for providing great information on your website :-)
Furio Fu says
I’m sorry but I can’t reply to this, it’s too specific. However, you can get in touch with the CVASC (or an agency, if you prefer) in Hong Kong, to confirm this point about Dutch passports
Hey can I apply for a chinese visa in Hong Kong even though its my first time going to China and never possessing a chinese visa or do I have to have a previous chinese visa in order to get one?
Furio Fu says
I never heard of such a limitation but I suggest you to get in touch with the CVASC or an agency, if you prefer to apply via an agency
Quick question, if I go Hong Kong to get my Chinese visa, and just saying that they reject me I would have to fly back?
Furio Fu says
If they reject you, you can’t enter China. That’s how it works.
Do I need to schedule an appoitment for visa prior to my travel or can I just fly to HK and then go get the visa?
Furio Fu says
if you want to use an agency, I suggest to contact them and schedule an appointment.
If you intend to apply with the CVASC, I still suggest you to schedule an appointment, you find the link to get appointment in this page: https://bio.visaforchina.org/#/nav/quickSelection?visacenterCode=HKG2&request_locale=en_US&site_alias=HKG2_EN
I’m not 100% sure that it’s compulsory to get an appointment, but I wouldn’t risk to go there without having one
I am currently in the mainland with a Z visa, but the company I worked for has gone under and the owner has ran away, so I cannot get the relevant visa cancellation documents/company stamp.
My wife is mainland Chinese and I am UK passport holder.
Can I get a Q/business or other visa in Hong Kong before my Z visa expires without the cancellation documents/stamp from my old work place?
Thanks so much in advance for your help.
Furio Fu says
I’m sorry but I don’t have any personal experience with this “exceptional” situation. I suggest you get in touch with the CVASC in Hong Kong, if you wish to apply for a new visa in Hong Kong