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Chinese Visa on Arrival: How to Get It?

In case you wish to apply for a Chinese visa on arrival, you should have in mind that they are very rare and are given only in special circumstances. Besides Shanghai and Hainan, places where you can stay without a visa (more on that here), there is a possibility to enter China without a visa provided that you immediately apply for a visa on arrival at the entry ports.

If you have a proof of your emergency from a Chinese organisation, you will have no problems receiving this visa. Also, if your travel is business related to a letter explaining your urgent situation and why you didn’t have time to apply for a regular visa, you will be granted visa on arrival.

This applies to the citizens of countries that have diplomatic or trade relations with China. However, it does not apply to citizens of the United States and France.

Travellers who due to force majeure are unable to leave China are also granted visa on arrival.

For the application, you will need your passport, application form which you will fill out at the entry port, photo, and money for the fee payment. A border officer will take your photo in case you didn’t bring one yourself. Also, take notice that the payment has to be in Chinese currency (RMB).

There were instances when travellers didn’t receive this visa because they were born in countries that are not eligible for it, even though they have passports from eligible countries. Also, the list of the ineligible countries for visa on arrival is always changing.

Therefore, our advice is to apply for a regular physical visa before your trip, which you can easily do on our website using this form. This way you won’t meet any inconveniences during your travel to China. We also advise you to apply in advance if possible.


If you are travelling to Shenzhen, you can apply for a single entry visa on arrival which allows you a maximum stay of 5 days. For this visa, you can apply at Luohu (Lo Wu) Port, Huanggang Port, Shekou Port and Fuyong Port.

Since July 2017, citizens of the United States and France are eligible for this five-day visa on arrival. But, citizens of Indonesia and Philippines need to show proof of previous Chinese visa.



Are you staying only in Zhuhai? There is a three-day visa on arrival, which you can obtain at Gongbei Port. The procedure is the same: prepare your passport, application form, money, and smile for the photo.

Visa application in just 7 minutes
via our fully automated visa form.