How to Obtain the 5-Days Visa (VOA) for Shenzhen

5-day visa shenzhen

Temporary visas for Shenzhen are issued for tourism purposes only. In the article below, we go into further details and update the information offered in our previous article on business visas, as well as give answers to the following questions.

Why visit Shenzhen?

Shenzhen, known as the Silicon Valley of Asia, is one of the largest and most industrialized cities in the Canton province, and is adjacent to the Hong Kong special administrative region.

In addition to its tourism interest, Shenzhen is one of the special economic zones within China, which turns this city into a very attractive destination for both local and foreign businesses due to its special taxation regime, although it is still dependent on the Beijing central government.

Who can apply for this visa?

There is no official list of nationalities that can apply for this type of visa, and the conditions for obtaining it can vary without prior notice depending on the specific circumstances at the time of requesting the visa.

One example of this is French citizens. For years, they were unable to obtain this visa due to diplomatic tensions between the two countries. The latest information available says that now, French people are, in fact, able to obtain this type of visa.

Below is an (unofficial) list of countries based on whether their citizens can apply for this type of visa or not.

  • Countries whose citizens can apply for the temporary visa : The majority of European countries, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries
  • Countries whose citizens can apply for the visa with restrictions (by showing passports with visas previously issued by the Chinese government): Indonesia and the Philippines.
  • Countries whose citizens are unable to apply for this type of visa: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Cameroon, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Uganda, and Yemen.

For the countries that aren’t mentioned, we don’t have reliable information on their situation, but it is most likely that they are in one of the first two situations. To get a general idea of the situation, check out the list of countries that can apply for a transit visa exception.

Where can I get a temporary visa for Shenzhen?

The 5-day visa for Shenzhen can be obtained at the Lo Wu (Luohu) border crossing between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Keep in mind that many other border crossings between Hong Kong and Shenzhen still don’t have an office for issuing this type of visa, so, it’s recommendable to cross at Lo Wu.

In theory, you can also get this visa at the Huanggang Port, Shekou Port, and Fuyong Port border crossings. Nonetheless, information on this is unclear.

What are the requirements for obtaining a temporary visa and how much does it cost?

The requirements are the following:

  • A valid passport with at least two free pages and 6 months’ remaining validity;
  • The immigration form obtained upon entering Hong Kong.
  • The immigration form to enter China: You can get this form and fill it out at the Lo Wu border crossing.
  • 168 Chinese Yuan (CNY): It is recommendable to bring Yuan in cash as well as to take extra in case they change the cost without prior notice. Also, note that for citizens of some countries it may be more expensive.
  • You don’t have to take a photograph as they take one when you apply.

How long does the temporary visa last and how many entries does it allow?

This visa allows you to move freely around the city and industrial area of Shenzhen. Given that it is only single-entry, if you want to go there multiple times, we also recommend that you check out a multiple-entry visa, which you can obtain at the Chinese embassy in your country.

What are the steps for applying for this type of visa?

From Hong Kong, take the subway to the Lo Wu stop, where you will find a border crossing (hours of operation: 06:00 to 00:00).

Without leaving the station, follow the signs in English. Look for the Visitors signs (Other than Mainland Visitors).

visa on arrival (VOA) china

When you arrive at the first checkpoint, hand over your passport along with the white Hong Kong immigration form. They will take this form away from you, as you are exiting Hong Kong. Continue to walk along the main walkway. When you get to the end, you will see a large number of passport checkpoints for entry into China.

When these checkpoints are just in front of you, turn to the left and go up an escalator. On the left-hand side, you will see a booth with visa application forms. Fill one out and move on to the glass room to your right.

shenzhen visa Lo Wo

The first thing that you need to do is to take a ticket for the lineup. There is a machine at the entrance to the room. Wait until they call you from one of the windows, probably the third one to the right. You will have to go to three windows with 3 police agents that most likely won’t speak English, and who will ask for the following:

First of all, they are going to ask for your passport and the ticket from the machine and will tell you to look at the camera on the other side of the window. Next, you go to the window to the right, pay for the visa (168 Yuan), pick up your ticket and wait for them to call you from the third window, where you will pick up your passport with the visa.

Once you have everything, go down the stairs and fill out the Chinese entry form before heading to one of the border agents. Once you’re there, they will take away part of the arrival card and part of the departure card, which you will keep until leaving the country.

arrival card china

With the temporary visa, can I travel to other Chinese cities than Shenzhen?

This visa only allows you to travel in the Shenzhen special economic zone, which includes the city of Shenzhen, Shekou, and the factories located in the surrounding countryside.

Can I get this visa at my embassy or consulate?

No. You have to request this visa at the time of crossing at the Lo Wu border crossing.

Does this visa allow me to work in China?

No, it is only a tourist visa.

Can I get a similar visa at the border crossing between Macao and Zhuhai?

Yes. In Macao, and in particular, at the Gongbei Port border crossing, you can get a 3-day visa exclusively for visiting Zhuhai.

The requirements, the application process, and the price are the same as for Shenzhen.

Photo Credits: Photos by Daniel De La Fuente

23 thoughts on “How to Obtain the 5-Days Visa (VOA) for Shenzhen”

  1. For Visa on Arrival to Shenzen, is it still at the Lo Wu (Luohu) border crossing between Hong Kong and Shenzhen only? If not, can I know the other places? Which one is the most convinience one?

  2. The artictle states “168 Chinese Yuan (CNY): It is recommendable to bring Yuan in cash as well as to take extra in case they change the cost without prior notice.”

    This information is NOT correct. I entered Shenzhen via Luohu 2 weeks ago. Payment for the port visa is ONLY possible by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay, JCB), WeChat Pay or Alipay. Cash is NOT accepted.

  3. Is the special economic zone tourist visa still available on arrival in Shenzhen? I am planning to travel from Macau to Shenzhen Shekou Port via ferry for an urgent matter and I can’t find any information on whether the office is still issuing temporary tourist visa at the Port in Shenzhen. Please point me to the right direction, thank you.

  4. Hi, I’m am travelling with my family from Australia to Hong Kong and Shenzhen in two weeks and was told but not certain that the Shenzhen visa office was temporary closed is this the case? Should I apply for China Visas in Australia instead.

  5. Hi, we are a family from The Netherlands. We want to travel from Hong Kong to Shenzhen and use the VOA service. I have used it before, so I am familiar with it.
    But this time, we also bring our minor children, age 17 and 14.
    Can they also use the VOA service ?
    Is it enough to have their birth certificate in English, or are there any other demands ?
    Thank you in advance !

  6. I’am an indian citizen looking forward to travel from hong kong to shenzhen. Is it possible for indians to get the 5 day visa as my country is not on your list of countries unable to apply for the visa.

    1. Hi there, please ask to your Chinese Consular Office. I’m sorry but we are unable to keep track of all nationalities

    2. Will be visiting Hong Kong and going to Shen Zen, have done this many times, but have been told by friends that they have waited over two and a half hours at the visa office at the border and an Australian lady in the party refused a visa on her first visit.
      Hope to make my visit in late November,have you heard of similar experiences?

      1. I don’t know Jenny, but it’s certainly possible that you either have to wait or won’t be granted a visa. I mean, there is no such a “guarantee” to get a Chinese visa

  7. The 5-day VISA is available at (the new) Shekou Ferry Port. I recently brought my brother and his wife from HK to Shekou on the ferry and they had no problems getting the visas.

    After getting off the ferry, head towards customs/immigration. Just as you see the immigration desks, there’s a large sign hanging from the ceiling on the left: “Port Visa”. There’s a desk in front with the applications forms. Fill one out, get your photographs from one of the two photo booths there (they’re free), and hand in everything at the window under the sign.

    As Luc says, they did ask for the old passports. My brother’s passport was issued in 2013 and his wife’s in 2011. Strange but, anyway, we didn’t have them and the official accepted that. She went away for a few minutes, came back and handed back the passports with the temporary visas stuck inside. No problems!! Straight on to the immigration desks with the passports and the Arrival Cards.

    Two points of note:
    1. Even though my guests were coming over in the morning and going back in the evening, i.e. no hotel, they were required to put down an address in China. They used my hotel address and it wasn’t queried.
    2. Yes, as Daniel says in the article, the price is RMB 168 for most countries but some are more expensive. Two in particular I noticed were: UK RMB 304 and USA RMB ~990. We handed in cash. Sorry, I didn’t notice what other methods of payment were acceptable.

    Hope this helps someone.

  8. Will a tourist pass into Hong Kong be ok, or are certificates of residence, employment status, or other valid certificates of legal stay in Hong Kong required? Is Daya Bay, Shenzhen for China Cup International Regatta within the zone?

  9. Hi, I’m a UK citizen. Just to say that today I tried to go through into Shenzhen and they were not able to process my application because they wanted to see both my old passport and my new passport. I was really surprised. Also worth mentioning that as of 2017 they do NOT have the 5 day visa service at Futian checkpoint (After queing for ages, I had to go all the way back on the train and then catch another train to Luowu) Thanks

    1. Hello Luc,

      thank you for your comment.

      It may be related to the fact that they are starting to ask for old passports, for people that have a passport newer than 1 Jan 2015

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get 3 Months FREE with EXPRESS VPN

+ Best VPN For China
+ 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
+ 24/7 Live China Customer Support
+ 3 Months Free on 12 Months Package

Scroll to Top