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How to Visit China Without A Visa (Shenzhen 5 Day Visa – from Hong Kong)

Last updated on July 5, 2015

This information was correct as of February 3rd 2014

Update: 05/07/2015: A British traveller has confirmed that the visa described in this article is still available, and the process described below is still relevant. He successfully followed the guide in recent days.

Update 06/06/2014: Despite ‘America’ being on the list of countries with a listed price. Several reports have now confirmed that American tourists are not being permitted this special visa. Apparently, ‘America’ means Chinese people residing in the USA(!!).

Update 15/10/2014: It’s confirmed 100% that passports from the United States of America cannot be used to obtain this visa.

I wrote this guide to provide others with clear concise information on visiting China whilst in Hong Kong. There is very little information available on the subject, and what is available is often contradictory. I successfully visited Shenzhen in February 2014 and wrote this guide based on that trip.

Key points

  • Getting a 5-day visa for the Shenzhen area of China is possible for almost anybody
  • You do not need to do anything before arriving at the Chinese border
  • All you need is your passport and a small fee in Hong Kong dollars or Chinese RMB.
  • (Info Update: as of June 3 2014 it has been reported that an attempt was made using a USA passport to gain the visa which failed. Nowhere is this specifically stated at the border. I’ll update when more info is reported from others. Only one person so far has reported being unable to gain the 5-day visa)
  • I successfully gained the 5-day visa using a British passport in February 2014, this information is to be used as a guide only, I cannot be held responsible if you fail to gain the visa!!!

Brief Summary 

  • Take enough cash in Hong Kong dollars (or RMB) for the visa. There are ATMs at Lo Hu but relying on them would be risky.
  • Go to the Lo Hu metro station in Hong Kong
  • Pass through the Hong Kong side of the border
  • Walk over an indoor foot bridge, pass a ‘Welcome to a Shenzhen’ sign
  • Head to the left, do a 180-turn, you will see two plain escalators. Go up.
  • Fill out a small form – if needed use the office to turn your HKD to Chinese money
  • Go into the room with seats – get a number
  • When it’s your turn hand in your application form and passport, they will take a photo of you
  • Wait a few minutes – you will be given your passport back with the visa inside
  • Go down the escalators and proceed through Chinese immigration in a ‘Visitors’ line.
  • Ensure you don’t overstay your visa, and ensure you stick to the Shenzhen area.

Long Idiot Proof Guide

Go to Hong Kong. This part should be easy. For most people you will simply need to buy a plane ticket and get on the plane. Once you are in Hong Kong, you can follow these instructions to get into China.

The Chinese visa we are dealing with here is the ‘5-Day Shenzhen Visa’. Ignore talk of any other visa, this is the visa you want in this situation. Remember this visa covers the Shenzhen area – you will not be able to go to Shanghai or Beijing. Remember the visa is for 5 days, do not overstay your visa otherwise you may be fined or worse.

Step 1 – Travel to Lo Wu MTR station

Lo Wu is a metro station on the East Rail Line (light blue on the maps). Getting there from central Hong Kong will take an hour or so, and keep in mind that sometimes these trains can get very busy.

Depending on if you are staying on Hong Kong Island, Tsim Sha Tsui or Mong Kok, follow the relevant instructions:

Staying on Hong Kong Island

Travel to the Central metro station.

From Central:

Take the red line to Tsim Sha Tsui

Follow the signs to the East Tsim Sha Tsui station.

Take the purple line to Hung Hom

Take the East Rail Line to Lo Wu – it’s the final stop so sit down and relax.

If you are staying in Tsim Sha Tsui

Take a taxi or walk to the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station.

Follow the signs to the East Tsim Sha Tsui station.

Take the purple line to Hung Hom

Take the East Rail Line to Lo Wu – it’s the final stop so sit down and relax.

If you are staying in Mong Kok

Take a taxi to Mong Kok East station

Take the East Rail Line to Lo Wu – it’s the final stop so sit down and relax

Step 2 – Clear Hong Kong Immigration

Get off the train, follow all the other passengers. You will arrive at Hong Kong immigration, you might need to have filled out a little ‘departure form’, do this just in case. Go through a ‘Visitors’ line.

Continue to walk through the building. You will pass over an indoor footbridge. Pass a ‘Welcome to Shenzhen’ sign. Visitors are signposted to be on the right at this point, however once you pass the welcome sign move to the left sharply. Enter the next section of the building and look to your left, you will see two escalators which look completely irrelevant and anonymous. There are no signposts (thanks China!). These are the magical escalators that will take you to the hidden visa application area. I have no idea why they don’t signpost this. Proceed up the escalators.

Step 3 – Gain Visa

At the top of the escalators you will see a wall with instructions on how to get the visa. There is a small application form to fill out, you simply need to put your name, passport number etc. Take 5 minutes to fill out the form.

Next, if you don’t have the required money in Chinese RMB, go to the small window to the corner of the floor. Ask to change your Hong Kong dollars into Chinese RMB. I don’t know if other currencies can be changed, take Hong Kong dollars to be safe.

Take your application form, your passport, and your Chinese money to the waiting room. Take a number from the machine, sit down until your number is called. I waited just a couple of minutes, if the room is busy you might need to wait longer.

When your number is called go up to the desk, hand over your passport and application form. They will take a photo of you and request the relevant payment.

Sit down for a minute or two (again, could be much longer if it’s busy, but for me it was literally 1-2 minutes). You will be called up again, collect your passport which now contains your visa. Congratulations!

Step 4 – Enter China

Return down the escalators, head to your left, you will see some ‘Visitor’ lines. Fill out an entry form with your name and passport number. Proceed through immigration. You’ll get a China stamp! You will find yourself in Luo Hu. The Shenzhen metro system is excellent, additionally taxis are readily available. If you are visiting simply to shop in the Luo Hu Commercial Centre shopping mall, then you will find this directly in front of you. Remember to bargain hard.

Remember not to outstay your visa! Ensure you leave China on or before the date shown on your visa. You might be given a massive fine if you stay too long, don’t risk it. Also remember to stick to Shenzhen, your visa is not valid elsewhere in China.





Additional Information

Hong Kong Visa Requirements

The vast majority of people do not need a visa to travel to and stay in Hong Kong. If you are unsure, please check this page first.

Cost of Visa

As of 3rd February 2014



Hong Kong $

Most countries





































Ivory Coast



























United Kingdom


389 (£39)




Please note: This information should be used as a guide only, I cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. YMMV.

Published inTravel


    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      [EDIT – You cannot use a USA passport to get the visa] I’ve got no reason to believe it’s any different for American citizens. ‘America’ is shown on the price list, and I didn’t see anything saying ‘Not for Americans’.

      • ron katz ron katz

        Can a u.s. passport holder get the 5 day shenzhen pass at the border if he shows that he has had chinese visas in the past (evidenced by the past visas in his passport)? I heard that might be a way for a u.s. citizen to get the 5 day shenzhen visa at the border. can you clarify if that is true?

      • Arnold Cho Arnold Cho

        I have tried with my American Passport back in Feb’14 and they refused to give the visa on arrival at SZ, so I had to move back to HK to apply “express one” took still several days.

    • Priscilla Bailey Priscilla Bailey

      I am an American citizen and have lived in Hong Kong for 6 years now and frequently travel to China. American citizens can not get a visa at the border. This is due to political reasons. You must get a visa at the Chinese Embassy in your country of residence. I reside in Hong Kong, so I am able to get entry or yearly visas with multiple entries to visit China. Most countries can get a temporary entry visa at the border, but not American citizens.

    • ron katz ron katz

      Can a u.s. passport holder get the 5 day shenzhen pass at the border if he shows that he has had chinese visas in the past (evidenced by the past visas in his passport)? I heard that might be a way for a u.s. citizen to get the 5 day shenzhen visa at the border. can you clarify if that is true?

      • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

        I have no idea. As I guess I would say no. Perhaps somebody else reading could comment?

        • Arnold Cho Arnold Cho

          I have had the China visa in my US passport but got rejected to get the visa on arrival at SZ.

    • I believe that USA Passports are now eligible. But correct me if I am wrong. Many Hong Kong hotel concierges can help you, or you can just go directly to the China Resources Building in Wan Chai where they issue visas (these are longer term visas) but it can take 2 business days with an expedited fee.

      My son just got a 10 year tourist visa (In Tokyo but same procedure). He can stay for 60 days, but then has to leave, but can return as many times as he wants for 10 years.

      • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

        You are talking about a different type of visa.

        The article is only relevant for the 5 day entry visa into the special Shenzhen zone.

  1. Pascal Pascal

    Thank you for this very detailed information Oli !
    Do you know if the one day pass still exists or is a 5 day visa the minimum you can get ?
    Thank you.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I didn’t see any mention of a ‘one day pass’.

      Why not simply get the 5-day visa and return on the same day? Getting the 5-day visa was very quick.

      • gigi gigi

        hi u i will came in hongkong next week after stay few days in Shenzhen and i need to get back in Shenzhen on 3 october couse the day after in the morning i have fly to back in italy… is possible take this 5 days visa for 215 HKdollars or is enough ask free entry for 48 hours couse i need to go to airport ? thanks

  2. Al Al

    Thanks Oli,
    Very detailed

    I am thinking of traveling from Macau to Shenzhen by ferry, arriving at Shekou port. Have you obtained the visa there before?


    • Natalie Natalie

      I’ve asked at several border crossing between Shenzhen and Hong Kong and I was told the only place to get the 5-day visa is via the Luohu border.Hope this helps! 🙂

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Update: According to Natalie’s comment – the only place to get the 5-day visa is at Luohu.

    • Mark Mark

      I can confirm the 5-day Shenzhen visa is available upon arrival at Shekou Ferry Terminal. My Australian friends obtained one yesterday. Quick and easy.

      • a. chandra a. chandra

        we are indian passport holders. family of three want to go to shenzhen from macau. which type of visa we need/ can we get just 24 or 48 hours visa?
        how much it will cost? if you let me know that will be very helpful. Chinese consulate in our city is not giving clear information so we are very confused.
        we just want a circle trip of hk. macau and shenzhen.

      • Giri Giri

        Hi Mark
        How much was the fee charged for the 5-day Shenzhen visa from your Australian friend?

        • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

          No, I don’t think you can. Well, you could do it but if you were caught then your visa isn’t valid there.

  3. Olli Olli

    Do you need any Invitation letter for the application form or do you have to give any reasons of application?

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      No you don’t need an invitation nor do you have to give a reason for entry. I was expecting to be asked at least the reasons for my visit, but it simply didn’t happen. I had my photo taken, gave over my passport and the money, sat down for a couple of minutes, then was called up and collected my shiny new visa which had been stuck into my passport. They didn’t even make a passing comment as to why I wanted it.

  4. Adriana Adriana

    Can i have the visa at Lowu right now? Last night someone said that not any more 🙁 do i need any picture

  5. Natalie Natalie

    Hi Adriana,

    I passed through the Lo Wu/ Luohu border on Saturday and they were still issuing the 5 day tourist visas. You have to apply for them in the Luohu border once you’ve gone through Hong Kong security. Hope this helps! 🙂

    • Steve Steve

      Hi Natalie, what is your nationality? What was the cost?

      I’m curious about hearing Americans and French can’t get this type of visa.

      Then, I’ve recently heard that you can also go as far as Guangzhou with this visa, not only as far as Shenzhen. This person insists it’s true but I don’t know how to confirm this so am checking here. Any real-world information would be much appreciated!

      • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

        Well, obviously once you got into Shenzhen, you could board a train to Guangzhou, nothing would stop you. However, I think if you were to then check into a hotel, they would potentially see that your visa wasn’t valid and contact the police. Also, if the police were to randomly stop you and ask to see your passport, then they would also notice. So it’s definitely possible, but probably not a good idea!!

        As for whether Americans can get the visa, yes I’m sure they can, I saw the board and ‘America’ is listed, with a high price for the visa, but nonetheless it’s there.

        • Steve Steve

          Thanks for the quick reply. One hears a lot of conflicting informatin–the person I mentioned is actually Chinese and insists GZ is not a problem, but what you wrote is what I’ve read myself. I’d rather not risk it.

          And one website is saying no Americans for the border visa, but only that website. Thanks again.

        • Steve Steve

          Hi again, the Wikipedia Chinese Visa page says

          “Visitors from most countries with notable exceptions of the US and, in certain cases, the UK may obtain a five-day entry visa when travelling from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. ”

          Not that Wikipedia is 100% accurate all the time, but it does give me pause.

          Any Americans who can confirm they crossed successfully?

          If refused at the border I could point at the sign with fees, including for Americans. And the officer(s) could respond “old information” or the like, and my trip is cancelled.

          • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

            I’d argue that this information is incorrect. Based on the ‘in certain cases’, UK reference. There didn’t seem to be any question of yes/no when it came to getting my visa. They took my passport and processed the visa, I wasn’t asked a single question. As for the US, obviously I’m on the other side of the world now and have no idea, but you can see from my photos the countries that are listed, and America does appear to be there. Nowhere did I see a sign saying ‘No Americans’.

          • Steve Steve

            I was just there an few hours ago, I tried to get the border visa, and the official held up a sign saying Americans are denied use of this visa as of April 1st, 2004. 2004! So, ten years on and still no clear information about this–until now.

            It turns out wikipedia was right. Again, Americans are NOT allowed to obtain this visa.

            The price list does say “America 956 RMB”. When I asked about that I was told “for overseas Chinese residing in the USA only.” BTW I asked two officials, and I also stopped at the CITS window nearby and asked them; all of them said no border visa for Americans. So it wasn’t just one official saying so.

            I would take this as a lesson that with visa matters, especially with China, you just never know.

            I had to cancel 5 days of activities and hotel reservations at the last minute, and return to Hong Kong. Oh well.

          • Steve Steve

            PS Oli I request that you put this info re us Americans in your post so that it’s not just buried in comments.

            Today has been hugely inconvenient and disappointing not only for myself but for my Chinese friends who were expecting to see me this weekend. And I can now say that being turned down for entry into a country and having to turn around, deal with the immigration hassle-though of course the Hong Kong officials were efficient and professional–is not a fun experience. Fortunately I have a place to stay in HK so wasn’t forced to find accommodations last-minute as well.

          • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

            Sorry to hear of your experience Steve. I have updated the post accordingly.

            It all makes the fact ‘America’ is clearly on the list even more baffling. The price as well is as you would expect it to be. Anyway, I have removed it from my list, and will await any updates in the future.

        • Mike D Mike D

          Bear in mind that if you buy a high speed train ticket to Guangzhou, you need to show your ID (passport), and the passport number gets printed on the ticket. So the system knows where you are going…

          • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

            Good point Mike – I certainly wouldn’t recommend that anyone does this.




  7. WK WK


    Yesterday I followed your directions and it went great! Just some adds: they added a sign just before the escalators with something like Visa, 2nd floor and an arrow pointed the right directions. So that’s a improvement. Also, you can already apply for a visa at 7:00, only the window where you can change your HKD to RMB opens from 9:00. BUT, you can also pay with Visa and MasterCard! So I paid 168RMB with my MasterCard (Dutch nationality).
    At the customs I needed to fill out an arrival/departure card, and the arrival part they kept after checking my passport. The departure card was still in my passport, and they took that when I left Shenzhen back to HK.
    Also, I traveled further than Shenzhen, and this was possible. But indeed, you don’t want to be checked by police..
    Going back to HK was also no problem, just head through the entrance upstairs (big signs with Welcome to … mall, with very small “to HK” at both sides).

    So Oli, thanks a lot for your guide!! Really appreciated it!!

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Excellent! Thanks for the updated information.

      Great to hear they finally added a sign.

      • Walli Datoo Walli Datoo

        Your blog post really did help me quite a bit! To add…i visited in early jaan and indeed there is a blue sign now right at the end of the footbridge and just before the escalators that says “PORT VISA” with an arrow that points up and to the right and little wave icon and i think an icon for an immigration person.

    • RH RH

      Did you have any stamps from China in your passport before you visited?

      I also hold a Dutch a passport and I’ve never been in mainland China before. I’ve been told I need an initial approved visit before, is this true?

  8. Natalie Natalie

    Hi Oli, I am a kiwi living in Valencia. Loving your detailed instructions!! I brought a ticket Valencia-Guangzhou this week, leaving Monday, for a tradeshow in Shenzhen, and meeting a few suppliers outside of Shenzhen city (1 hour away). The problem is that i have just discovered i need a visa! I have 2 options – A. Wing it at the Guangzhou airport equipped with letters of invitation (preferred option if i could know it would work!). Or B. buy a flight to Hong Kong, then enter on the 5 day as you outlined. If I go B, how far can i leave the Shenzhen city on this Visa… can I legally get out to the tanneries and manufacturers I want to visit???? Any thoughts are appreciated, gracias!

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Hi Natalie,

      I’m no expert, but I believe the Shenzhen ‘5 day’ visa includes the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, which does stretch out to encompass the industrial regions on the edge of the city. So you may find those suppliers are based inside the Shenzhen zone. Arriving at the Guangzhou airport and ‘winging it’, seems a risky strategy to me. Far riskier than doing the HK->Shenzhen route. If I was you I would take the 5-day visa having landed in Hong Kong, and take a taxi ride out from Shenzhen to the suppliers.

      • Natalie Natalie

        Hi Oli, thank u so much. Yes us kiwis do have a tendency to try and ‘wing it’ – not always a good idea in PPC! So I think I will do as you suggested. I will stay overnight at a hotel in HK airport and get to Lo Wu first thing the next morning. Am i correct that it opens at 7am, if I take the correct amount of 215 HK dollars?

        • Tony Wang Tony Wang

          It might be too late but next time Natalie you can fly to Guangzhou Baiyun Airport and use your right to get 72 hours transit visa free right – under this right you will be able to travel the whole Guangdong province that Shenzhen is a city of it within 72 hours.
          This 5 days free visa information is useful as I am searching information to help my British friend to get into Guangdong Province. Thanks Oli. As I lived in Shenzhen in my childhood, I heard something similar before but never understood how exactly it works. However, I would point out that this 5 day visa free is only for Shenzhen S.E.Z, which means that travelling outside the S.E.Z will be an abuse and may get you a record and trouble to entry into PRC in the future. Long time ago there used to be a S.E.Z border that border police will check the visa and documents (Shenzhen Airport was outside the S.E.Z border zone), but in recent year the government expanded the border so as long as you stay in Shenzhen you are in the S.E.Z border zone.
          How will the local policy find out that you are abusing the 5 day free visa? It can happen if you stay in a hotel outside of Shenzhen (bear in mind Shenzhen now means the whole Shenzhen S.E.Z). Local hotels are obliged to record your passport and visa information when you check in, and local police will review records of hotels frequently. Therefore, even you got no problem when you check-in a hotel out of Shenzhen, you’ll need to worry about that police will eventually get your record.
          Personally I think the 72 hours visa-free transfer is the best visa. Beijing 72 hours you can only stay in Beijing area, Shanghai 72 hours you can only stay in Shanghai area, but Guangzhou 72 hours you can stay in the whole Guangdong Province, which gives you access to Shenzhen and Zhuhai. This 5 days Shenzhen S.E.Z visa, you can only stay in Shenzhen.
          I hope it helps because my country is never good at clarifying things…

          • jenny owers jenny owers

            Hi, my husband n I would like to travel to shenzhen from HK in Dec. We r Aussie, we heard that you don’t need a visa to china, as long as you are only there for 72hrs! Is that right??if so, does that also mean it applies to shenzhen?

  9. darren darren

    my current visa expires on june 20th

    my flight leaves shenzhen on the 28th of june

    do you think its possible to get two of these five days visa

    enter on first visa then stay five days leave and get 2nd visa

    just a question??????????????

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I have no idea, but I didn’t see anything saying that you were limited to a certain number of visas. Perhaps leave, go to Hong Kong, then return 3 days later so you just need 1 5-day visa? You’ll have to post another comment afterwards telling everyone what happened.

  10. Syed Ahmed Syed Ahmed

    Thanks Oli, your information is priceless and it saved me from a lot of running around. Do you know of any wholesale markets in Shenzhen that sell garment accessories in particular. How do I find these places in Shenzhen and where is the best place to stay in Shenzhen. Thanks

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I don’t know personally, but I found the Chinese to be very business savvy. Right over the border there is a large market/mall with many traders eager to speak to you, I’m sure with a bit of trial and error you could get speaking to someone who is involved with a wholesale market. I found that if you show an interest in buying, there is definitely no shortage of sellers!

  11. Syed Ahmed Syed Ahmed

    Thanks Oli, I appreciate your quick response. I am going to Shenzhen from Hong Kong on June-03-2014. I am holding a US passport and I am hoping to get the 5 days visa without any problem. Thanks.

  12. Balaji Balaji

    Hi – I hold an India passport and wish to travel next week with my family into Shenzhen from HK for touring. I hold a confirmed return ticket back after 3 days in Shenzhen. I have not applied earlier for China Visa so far. Has anyone seen a board that says Indian passport holders not eligible for the 5 day visa. Thanks.

    • Raj Raj

      Hi Balaji

      I am planning to VISIT HongKong and travel to Shenzhen for 2 days and does not have China VISA. Can you please share your experience on Shenzhen VISA?


        • Nupur Nupur

          Hi Balaji, Raj and Dhushyanth, Can you all please share your experience. Iam an Indian passport holder and planning to visit shenzhen from hongkong using the 5-day visa on arrival. I would be visiting PRC for the first time and am going alone. Please help me with the information.

          • Ashwin Ashwin

            Hi Nupur, Dhushyanth, Raj, and Balaji,

            I am a bit late to ask but there doesn’t appear to be any official documentation for this issue. Hopefully this reaches one of your emails, I plan to visit over the coming weekend, any prior knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Sammy Sammy

    Hi my friend
    Kindly Please ,do u know if it’s possible for me I am holding Algeria passport to get 5 days visa in luohu border
    U reply is very important for me
    Bcoz my visa expire today , but I need return to sz to settle my business

    Thks a lot

  14. Roger Roger

    I really don’t suggest to people to enter Guangzhou without the proper Visa. The Visa obtainable in Lo Wu is for Shenzhen only.

    The last time I visited Guangzhou in 2012, I took the train out of Shenzhen and my passport was checked at the ticketing office in Shenzhen. They wouldn’t sell me a train ticket without verifying my passport/visa. And when I arrived at the hotel in Guangzhou, they photocopied my passport and visa before giving me my room key. Luckily for me I had the full 30 day China Visa.

  15. Natalie Natalie

    For those looking for a good market to buy souvenirs, electronics, luxury brand copies or have something tailor made, the place to go is Luohu commercial center in Shenzhen. When you arrive in Luohu you take exit A1 from the metro and market should be to your left. It’s a 5 story mall. You can find almost everything there gift wise and you can negotiate the prices. They are used to tons of foreigners coming into their shops so most shop owners have a really good level of English. They will start you off at a high price but you can work your price down. It’s really interesting. Have a look if you are in Shenzhen!

  16. Aj Aj

    Hi all,

    Yesterday 20/06 got the 5 days SZE visa in huanggang port whitout problems.


  17. Alex Alex

    Thanks so much for this info Oli! I may try this and check the prices again, it looks reasonable for UK passport, as staying in shenzhen is cheaper than HK and much better food.

  18. Candice Candice

    THank you so much for the info! Do you have any idea about the pricing for Australia? I can’t seem to find anything online and I am off to hong kong in july for a week and would love to check out shenzen!

  19. Steven sharpe Steven sharpe

    Hey Oli, good info, thanks. Do u know if the 5 day Shenzhen visa needs to be used on the same day, or can I purchase in advance for use the next day, as long as u adhere to the 5 day, single entry rules?
    So I would exit HK, purchase visa, re-enter HK without entering china on day 1, then return the next day, day 2, to enter china, Shenzhen Region only

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Hi Steven,

      When they stamp your passport with the visa details, it gives a date 5 days into the future. I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t then return directly to Hong Kong, then return a day later and go straight through to the border checkpoint. You would only get 4 days in effect, but without knowing for sure I don’t see any reason whatsoever why you couldn’t do this.


  20. Kerri Still Kerri Still

    THANK YOU soooooo much…that was a great detailed report for a dummie like me LOL … Seems so easy…. any good ideas fro hotels…wanting to shop til I drop for 4 days with my 17 year old daughter Thanks in advance Kerri

  21. dduhoni dduhoni

    Thanks Oli,

    Now I am crystal clear! but do you think would it be possible to go to shenzhen and go back to hong kong in an hour?

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      No, an hour there, an hour back, plus up to an hour or more to get through the passport control. There and back in an hour would be impossible.

  22. Maxine Maxine

    Sorry Oli are you a british passport holder? We are going next week and want to be sure we can enter and get the visa at Lowu. Thank you

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I am yes. I had no problems at all with my British passport back in February.

    • Jim Jim

      Hi Maxine, were you able to get a 5 day visa as British resident? I’m heading to HK this weekend.

  23. Massimo Massimo

    Oli, what about Italian (mine) and Czech Republic (my gf) passports?
    I was granted of a tourist chinese visa twice and my gf had a sort of short them VISA once she flew to Thailand since they were stranded in Guangzhou due to bad weather that caused a missed connecting flight.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I don’t see why not. Both are EU passports. I couldn’t possibly say for sure though, as they have ‘America’ on the list but don’t give it to Americans, so being 100% sure is impossible.

  24. Luke Luke

    Thanks for the guide really helpful! I can confirm I got a 5 day visa on July 27th on a British passport

  25. Maxine Maxine

    We did it with ease. Visa British passport 304yrm each. Octopus passes bought at Causeway Bay station, refund of hk$50, on a cost of hk$150 per card. We went first class and validated at machines both ways, hk$80 each way on the east line. Changing metro a few times but so easy off one train, across the platform and onto the next. A breeze with Oli’s instructions. We change money at visa level in Lo Wu for just the visas, we only changed enough for visas and kept rest in HK$ as every where too them all in all took all of 15 mins max to to go through. 2hrs approximately journey time from Times Square. One tout tried to pester us but hublet Noel has a way to see them off. We then met Jacky who was more than helpful and we got what we wanted and paid what we were happy to pay. Whether we could have got more off the price did not matter we were satisfied with the prices paid. But got quality watches, bags and good golf club set, plus I got a unique for me golf bag. All in all a happy and enjoyable experience. To be repeated but would stay in Zhenzhen next time as it had more going for it than Hong Kong we felt, as shopping after LoWu, HK was disappointing and extremely expensive even going to Stanley market, I got a couple of good linen items, the rest was poor quality in clothing, amazing laquered pictures there though, but have to say we live in Thailand and everything is expensive after there and LoWu. Go it is a must, if you can get Jacky try him out lovely spoken English and his sister was nice too. Jacky unit 4307A and unit 3311 for him and his sister. Thank you Oli for this great informative ways to go site.

  26. Maxine Maxine

    Big thank you Oli we got 5 day visa one entry permitted only. It really was a breeze, some came back to me after 12yrs especially the escalators but more so not so many people and we went at 08:30h (8:30am). Most people were great on the travel side and visa etc. so nice to have gone forewarned. As we said we will go and stay there next time doing the same route as it was smooth and no pre application on visa needed as not sure in Thailand we could get through the paperwork that easily with my limited Thai and Chinese languages. Thank you.

    • Chris Chris

      Hi Darren,

      Wondering if you (or anyone else) managed to get 2 of these 5-day visas? I am planning a trip next week and may need to go back for a second visit. Anybody done it recently?


      • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

        I don’t see why not, on my visa it doesn’t state anywhere that I can’t go back and get another. You’d have to pay for it again, but I think it would be fine.

  27. Maxine Maxine

    Hi Jim we probably went at the same time. Only just saw your message it was easy.

  28. Mark Mark

    Hey Oli,

    I have crossed Huanggang border with British passport 3 times in the last 9 months without any problems, but this time for the first time I land in Hong Kong at 10pm and I believe I can make it to the border by around 12am and I know the Huanggang border operates 24hrs but is the section where they issue 5 day visa be open? I don’t want to travel all the way there and they are shut?

    Thanks in advance for your help.


    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Hi Mark,

      Sorry I’m not sure whether that particular office is open 24 hours. As a guess I’d say it’s probably not. My advice would be to stay the night in HK, then travel up early in the morning.


  29. Emma Emma

    What excellent information
    Were off to Hong Kong in January… will do trip to shenzhen too now! yippee

  30. Steve Evans Steve Evans

    My colleague used the service today – with a British passport it was about 300HK$. The service was very quick and it’s worth knowing that the office is open from 7am

  31. Thank you for your comprehensive website! Neither the British government’s travel information to China, nor the Chinese embassy website lists this as an option. A friend from CouchSurfing told me about it several days before I was scheduled to fly, and it allowed me to spend 2 more days with my girlfriend before the business trip began! My boss had given me the extra time to get a visa, but it was issued in only 20 mins!

    I travelled on a British passport on 2014-09-10, through Luohu.
    I stayed within Shenzhen SEZ, though travelled as far as Dapeng Peninsula. There was a checkpoint on that road, but it was unmanned, and I was assured that the peninsula is still part of the SEZ.
    I exited through Shenzhenwan (Shenzhen Bay) border bridge on 2014-09-14. I tried to check if there were any signs for a visa-on-arrival there, but I think the China-to-Hong Kong and Hong Kong-to-China sections are different. People were walking in a single direction where I was.

    Note that the only way to get to Luohu is by MTR, which costs 22 HKD. The minimum Octopus topup is 50 HKD. Plan your expenses accordingly! It is not possible to take a bus to Luohu; foreigners will be removed from buses entering the border area at a checkpoint. I know this from prior experience (last year).

    Photos of the Port Visa sign, the “application form” that does not require photos with a blue background, accepted countries, and opening hours are uploaded here:


    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Thanks Peter for such an comprehensive update! I’m pleased the information helped you. Yes the whole process is surprisingly easy and quick, for something that doesn’t seem to be mentioned on any official website. Your photos are superb, I’ll be passing on that link to others. Cheers, Oli.

  32. Elisabetta Elisabetta

    Hi. Regarding the 5 days visa, do I have to consider the entry day or not? I’m going to Shenzhen on Oct. 24, and I planned to leave on Oct. 29. Is it all right? Thank you.

  33. Cheryl Cheryl

    Awesome information – and very good to know! I’m planning on going to Shenzhen for two or three days while I’m in Hong Kong, and it would be nice to be able to just get a Visa at the border.
    Just out of curiosity, does the restriction on Americans also apply to Canadians, or is it only the United States? Just wondering if we would both be grouped under North Americans per se, so it would be nice to know if we would be denied at the border.

    Thanks! 🙂

  34. Kev Kev

    Hi Oli,

    Do you know if there is any issue with using the 5 day visa then coming back to HK for the weekend let’s say and then returning to Shenzhen on another new 5 day visa?

    I’m running a bit tight on getting the full visa so this is looking my best option.


    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t get a second visa later. Though of course you would need to pay for it twice.

  35. Yong Yong

    Hi Oli,

    Can I check the 5 days VISA is it only single entry? If i enter today and return to HK
    at night, after 2 days enter again?


    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I checked my passport and nowhere does it say single entry, however, when I crossed the border back into Hong Kong, they did put a line through the visa page. So that suggests it is only one entry.

      However, I don’t see a reason why you couldn’t get another when returning. Though it may be cheaper to simply stay the night in Shenzhen.

      • Yong Yong

        Hi Oil, thanks for your replied. The reason is I have already booked my HK hotel,
        This is a additional itinerary, therefore, I am wonder if 1 day trip is not enough, then
        maybe will return again the next day or another day within the 5 days VISA.


  36. Kent M Kent M

    We successfully used this with a UK passport yesterday (12th October 2014), this guide saved us from having to drive to the embassy to try and gain a full visa after leaving it late so thank you.

  37. ali ali

    Sorry if I missed the info elsewhere but is the LoHu border crossing everyday (including weekends)? What are the opening times when one can cross either way? Thx

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I think so yes, perhaps someone else could confirm. As a guess I think it was open from 7am until 10 or 11pm.

      *** Note: The border crossing itself is open 24h [I think???] **** – *BUT* – The office to get the visa definitely isn’t, that is what I think was open from 7 until 9 or 10 or something. If you can’t be sure, probably best to attempt to get the visa during the day.

  38. Dhushyant Kumar Dhushyant Kumar

    Hi Oil, thanks for the post , Is there any regulation for Indian residents ,and can we get this visa as a single person not as a group.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I have no idea to be honest, if India is not on the list in the article then it suggests that the visa is not available. If it is on the list, then yes it should be available without a problem.

  39. Alex Alex

    I am a dual EU/USA national residing in the US, and I was wondering if I could get the 5 day visa. Do they ask to list all of the nationalities in the form? I am wondering if they could deny the visa with my EU passport based on the fact that I also have US nationality and the US residential address.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Hi Alex, I think that if you use your EU passport then you should have no problems at all. If you are at all worried about putting a USA address on the form, put a friends address in Europe as your home address. Perhaps make sure you use your EU passport when entering Hong Kong as well, keep your USA passport in your bag (obviously), otherwise they might question which passport you typically use.

  40. KK KK

    I am New Zealand passport holder, i am visiting Hongkong and would like to visit Schenghen aslo on 5 day visa. can you please tell me where can i get the VISA and how much is the Visa fees please.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Hi Krish, if you read the article it will give you full details on exactly what you need to do to get the visa, and list the rough fees involved.

      • KK KK

        Thanks Oli, can you please tell me where can get the electronics to buy near the Lo Wu station that too ORIGINAL please.

  41. ali ali

    Oli, many thanks for your reply to my previous question. May I also ask (as I can’t find a definitive answer to it elsewhere) if I arrive at the border crossing on the Monday at say 5pm, am I still OK till Saturday 5pm to cross back over to HK? Is that how the 5 days works or is it specific calendar days only (i.e. If I cross the broder from HK on Monday I would have to leave Shenzhen by Friday)? Thanks.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      That’s right yes.

      If you cross the border at 5pm on a Monday, then they stamp a date 5 days into the future into your passport on the visa. You can then freely pass back into Hong Kong until and including on that day I believe. (Mine did not mention a time, so I think it’s just done on calendar days, not exact times). You would see the exact date on your visa inside your passport, e.g. if that was the 8th of the month, then you’d have until 11:59pm on the 8th to leave. So on entering you’d see the day on which you would need to leave.

        • Mario Mario

          Hi Oli and Ali, how did it work with those 5 days?
          My plan is to arrive to Hongkong Wednesday afternoon, get the visa to Shenzhen and leave on Monday morning. If that Wednesday was the 1st calendar day, Monday would be already 6th calendar day. Or, do they count it like the Thursday would be actually the 1st day?

  42. Jinja Jinja

    I would like to know if it’s possible to fly to Hong Kong and on the same day (probably on a Saturday) get a visa for Shenzhen. It’s for an urgent business trip and we need to get to Shenzhen to have meetings there for two days. We have Spansih passports, and we are trying to get a Visa but we are not in time to do so (it takes 7 days to procees it on the Chines embasy).
    I would really appreciate if you can help.
    Thank you

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Yes, I think this is possible. The office where you get the visa isn’t open 24 hours a day, but if you arrived during the day having just arrived into Hong Kong airport (1 hour away) then yes you could definitely get the visa and go on into Shenzhen. So as long as your arrival hour isn’t in the middle of the night, I don’t think you will have any problems. (Note: I can give you my opinion, but it’s only the information as best I know it, I can’t guarantee anything or be responsible if this doesn’t work).

  43. I need to go to shenzhen for 5 days. I applied for a chinese visum in the Netherlands, it was granted, but the mail company lost my passport. I have a new passport now, and i don’t know if i get my chinese visa in time. If i go on the border from hong kong to shenzhen, do you think they will notice that i already applied for a chinese visum and ask me questions about it?

    thnx in advance

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      No I don’t think they will ask you about it.

      If you go with your new dutch passport then I think it will be totally fine.

  44. Kurt Kurt

    Can I travel to Guangzhou with this visa?
    When I leave Guangzhou back to Hong Kong, can i take the direct train to HK? Because i will need to pass through imigration in Guangzhou then, and if they see my VOA was for Shenzhen only…..?

    Or… can i do the same visa on arrival thing in Guangzhou East Station?? That would be the best. I only need to be there for 4 days for a trade show.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      No, it’s for the greater Shenzhen area only.

      Travel out of the Shenzhen area at your own risk, I wouldn’t advise it.

  45. KC KC

    Hi, Great information here! But just wondering what you need to put on the ‘Address in Shenzhen’ on the application form if you are not going to be staying in a hotel? I’m only going to be staying there for a few hours to shop around or maybe get a hotel there if i do feel like staying (which I wouldn’t know which hotel i’ll stay in advance). Or are they not really strict on this?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I would look up the details of a hotel in Shenzhen and put that on the visa. I don’t think they would check it. Or simply put, ‘short 5 hour trip’ or something like that. It’s as much so that they have an idea where you are staying in the case of some dramatic emergency or something, rather than any pressing need to know 100% where you’d sleep.

      I stayed with a friend in a school (as odd as that sounds! in staff quarters) – and that must have looked strange on the form, but they neither questioned it or contacted the school (I believe).

  46. hello everone,
    right now i and my other friend at hongkong, we have many invitation letter by china company, we ask so many but every body say no visa first time for indian to china at arrival,
    can someone tell me is it possible if yes tell me how
    plz reply soon

  47. Chris Chris

    Hi there

    Does anyone know if I get a 5 day visa for Shenzhen and after the five days want to stay longer, can I just go back to HK and then get another 5 day visa directly and re-enter?


  48. Frank Frank

    Can anyone confirm that this office is still open?
    I have been there many times in the past but now people are saying its closed.
    Its quite urgent, if anybody has some information, please share.

  49. Rosalyn robins Rosalyn robins

    Hi. I’m a Filipino passport holder. But I’m australian resident my husband and I planning to go to Hong Kong and we want to go to Shen zhen for shopping. Do you think I can get in Shen zhen?

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      You would have to check the latest list of countries. I provide a list of countries that was accurate when I went, but it might have changed.

      • Katherine Katherine

        Hi, do you know where I can get the lastest list of countries which are valid to get this 5-day-visa?

        • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

          If you can’t find it online (it should be there somewhere), then we might need somebody to visit the office and check to see if the list has changed.

          Maybe the next person to get the visa having read this page could let me know an updated list.

  50. Kev Kev

    Good stuff!

    A question: can one (EU/Dutch passport) get a standard 1-month or 3-month travel visa to Shenzhen in the same Luohu office? or the only visa they handle is the 5-day one according to your memory? Thanks in advance!


    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I think that office just dealt with the 5-day visas. I don’t remember seeing anything talking about longer stays. From memory you needed to go to a Chinese Embassy to apply for that far in advance.

  51. Fatima Fatima

    Hi there
    Would I need a full empty page in my passport for this visa or is it a small sticker/stamp?
    Thanks very much
    Fatima, South Africa

  52. Gino Eetezonne Gino Eetezonne

    I am planning to go Shenzhen around the Chinese New year time,any idea if the visa willl be closed around that time.Btw I have Belgian passport.

  53. Rich Rich

    Great post Oli, thanks a lot for the info!

    Just had a quick question as I saw in one of your responses above that when you got your Visa stamp they stamped a date 5 days into the future, meaning if you got your stamp and entered Shenzhen on a Monday, you could stay there until midnight on the Saturday, giving you effectively 6 calendar days in Shenzhen. However, I saw on another website that the 5 days included the day of entry and so if you got your stamp and entered on a Monday you would have to leave by midnight on the Friday.

    Do you or anyone know if this has changed recently? Has anyone been to Shenzhen via one of the ports in the last few months and still been given a stamp that was 5 days in the future (giving you 6 calendar days in Shenzhen)?

    Thanks a lot for your help.


  54. he ollie my name is pierre hauters he ollie my name is pierre hauters

    you made a very good site and i did this many times its really very helpfull for people doing this the first time i have a small problem i want to go in china by luohu Mainland to go in shenghzen for only 16 hours visit my son who works their i can easily pay me a visa on site for 24 or 72 hours thats no problem but i have a friend with me who has a turkish pasport the question is can he enter with me because turkye is not on the list of lands who can apply for a visa on site ????? can you help me with info

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I think that if Turkey is not on the list, then he won’t be able to get the visa, sorry.

  55. chelsie chelsie

    is that possible for thailand passport holder to get the 5 days shenzen visa? we’re planning go to shenzen during our vacation to hongkong..

  56. Frank Frank

    Hi Ollie, thanks for the detailed entry and guidelines. I did the Shenzhen Entry mid February 2015 without any issues.
    As mentioned after leaving Hong Kong there is now a sign informing about the Visa Office upstairs and it is easy to find.
    There were perhaps 10 people waiting before us, but the whole process was done after 20 minutes.
    We were Germans and a Canadian guy and all got their Visa.
    The immigration officer asked me ( I am born in France but have German and French passports and used the German one here) why I had France as place of birth on the VISA application but granted it after I explained I am born there but have German parents which were in France at the time of my birth.
    So there could be that this kind of VISA can be denied to French people as mentioned by you. I read about this issue also somewhere else.

    The Visa Office here does only issue 5 day Visa, for longer ones you have to see a travel agency dealing with VISA stuff. Our Canadian friend tried to get a longer one but they denied his wish. The use whole page in the passport for the VISA sticker and you get a stamp when entering China and when leaving. They also cross the VISA sticker after entry to China. So if you leave the same day and want to return, please apply again for this 5 day VISA. But it is possible to get the VISA, go back to HK and enter China the next 5 days.
    I did not compare the list of eligible countries with the list above but from memory there was no change of the mentioned countries and the cost is still 168 RMB in 2015.
    I suggest to everybody to change their money in HK and not in Shenzhen as the money counter was not occupied the whole time.


    Is it possible NOW for a US citizen with a valid passport to obtain the 5 day visa for shenzhen?
    I was hoping US citizens were now allowed the visa!

  58. Robin Brown Robin Brown

    Do you have to have arranged and booked/paid accommodation in Shenzen to obtain the Visa on Arrival like is required for travel groups? I will be staying with friends but wont know the accommodation until the last moment…

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I think you could simply put any hotel in Shenzhen down, then if they tried to call them (unlikely), you could just say you are going to book when you arrived.

      I was staying at a school, as my friend lived and worked there, which must have seemed odd, but they didn’t question it, and the visa was granted in just a couple of minutes, so I don’t think they made any effort to verify it.

      I think it’s just in case of some dramatic event, they could in theory contact tourists at their hotels to advise them on where to go. On entering the USA for example I had to do the same, it’s pretty normal I think.

  59. Gustavo Ricarte Gustavo Ricarte

    According to the Division of Exit-entry Administration Public Security Bureau website (, after March 16th, it’s required that foreigners make the online booking application before submitting for visa.
    Have you heard about it?

    • Stan Stan

      This is not for this 5-day Shenzhen SEZ visa. Just checked with the Shenzhen immigration.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      To confirm – this is not for the 5 day visa that I have written about. This is for a full Chinese visa, which this article doesn’t cover. Gustavo is right in saying that to get a full Chinese visa, you do need to apply for a visa beforehand.

  60. Ghassan Ghassan

    Hi Oli

    I am a holder of Jordanian passport and wants to visit canton fair in Guangzhou . If I travelled to HK as I take a visa on arrival and follow what you explained up can I reach there !? And do I need to leave back to my original country from HK or I can use Guangzhou airport to depart !? Thanks in advance

  61. Louis Louis

    Hi Oli. Can a Thai citizen visiting Hong Kong as a tourist get the 5 days Shenzhen visa at Luohu border?

  62. temtem temtem

    Hi Oli,

    Extremely useful site. Is it possible for me to fly from Shenzen to Beijing once I’m there? would i need to get another visa?

  63. Megan Southwood Megan Southwood

    Hi, I am a South African passport holder living in Hong Kong. I need to leave Hong Kong and return to get my Hong Kong work permit stamped and activated. Is it possible to do this at the Lo Wu border and get a VOA? If denied a visa, is it an ugly process being sent back to Hong Kong and would they stamp my visa?


  64. Graham Graham

    Hi, just to provide an update.
    I obtained a Shenzhen visa as Oli describes on 29 June 2015 with a British passport. Cost was 304 CNY (about 31 GBP).
    No booking required (I think the reference mentioned by Gustavo Ricarte is for a full Chinese visa). The elevators were there as descibed. I don’t know how you would find them without having read Oli’s guide first. There were no signs for the visa office. I just took a day trip to visit friends in Shenzhen and returned to Hong Kong late evening. Trains to and from Lo Wu are excellent.
    Safe travels everyone, Graham

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Thanks for the updated info Graham, it’s much appreciated. I have relatives that will attempt to do this next month, and reading your update will reassure them a lot.

  65. Peter Peter

    The 5-day-Shenzhen visa is also available at “normal borders”, not only in LoWu. So you can take a cross-border-taxi (I think it’s abound 500-800 RMB per car). I was surprised but it worked when I was traveling with a friend. But you have to bring RMB in cash. It was very quick – no queue – same procedure as in LoWu.

  66. Stefani Stefani

    Hello – I am a US passport holder with a HK ID. In reading, it is very clear that I will not be able to get a visa at the border but does my HK ID make a difference? From what I can tell my only option is to go somewhere in Wan Chai to purchase a visa? There is a lot of information so just looking for some clarity for an American HK ID holder trying to go to SZ for the day. Thank you!!

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Hi Stefani,

      As far as I know like you say your US passport is no good, so that leaves your HK ID, and I believe that cannot be used in conjunction with the 5-day visa either. So neither ID will allow you to get the special visa.

      Sorry about that.


  67. hi there,I am Trinidadian (located in the Caribbean) and my boyfriend is French we are in Hong Kong and would like to visit SZ. Would we get problems to get the 5 days pass at the SZ border?

  68. Jeanny t. Omamalin Jeanny t. Omamalin

    I will soon travel to macao, and plan to go to shenzhen. Is there a visa from macao to shenzhen and vise versa? Just a 2 day tour…thanks

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      No I don’t think so. You can easily get to Macau from Hong Kong if that’s where you will be staying. Trying to go from Macau to Shenzhen would require a full Chinese visa, the 5-day option isn’t available at that border.

  69. Ariana Ariana


    Just a question. Like to get the most of my days in Shenzhen 🙂 .
    THe limit for the visa is 5 days. How is this exactly measured?
    For example, you enter today (August 11th 2015 at 11.00 A.M.) What is the time /date you need to exit? I should expect to departure before August 16th 11.00 A.M?
    – Is time relevant or not?

    Thanks for answering!

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Hey Ariana,

      I believe it works like this. You get the visa, on say 11th Aug, and they stamp it into your passport. The special visa stamp will have a date of expiry on it, which I think would be 16th August. You would then have to leave on or before 16th August, so the last possible moment you could leave would be 11:59pm on 16th August.

      I can’t be 100% sure about that, but that’s the impression I got. The visa says a date of expiry rather than a date with an hour and minute.

      So I suppose to get the most time you’d want to go over the border in the morning and return in the evening. Don’t overstay your visa though, you don’t want a fine or a ban on returning.

  70. Ariana Ariana

    Thanks Oli,

    Good to hear that time is not an issue.
    I will check it out exactly in some weeks.

  71. Urazz Urazz

    Hello there,

    Firstly thank you all for the helpful information.
    I would also like to know what time the Admin office will close? coz i am planning to go like 8 to 9pm. Do they still be in service for visas untill late?

    Thank you in advance for your positive response.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Sorry I’ve no idea, when I was there it did seem to have opening hours rather than be 24h, if you’re arriving late then I would check to see if it’s gonna be open. Ideally I think it’s best to arrive between 9am and 4pm.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Hi Peter,

      I think you’d have to get a full visa yes. As you can’t get the 5-day visa with your passport.

  72. Hayley Hayley

    Hi Oli!

    Long shot here that you might have some information to help… boyfriend lost his passport in china, and now has a temporary passport which he will use to enter Hong Kong tonight (via air.) I went to a visa agency today to enquire whether he can get a 30 day tourist visa for china whilst on a temporary passport, and she told me that we had to go to the Shenzhen border to leave and then come back in so that theres all the correct stamps in this passport – do you have any information at all on this? No one seems to know…

    Thank you!!!

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I’m not sure, but certainly you could go through the border on one side into ‘no mans land’, then return again a few moments later. That would presumably get you new stamps.

  73. DoC DoC

    HI! I’m a Philippine Passport Holder and I’ll be having my trip to Hong Kong this coming Saturday for 5 days. On my 3rd day, I’m planning to go to Shenzhen thru the Lo Wu Border for one day only. Can I apply for Shenzhen Economic Zone Tourist Visa? If not, where can I apply for a Tourist Visa to Shenzhen? How long does it take and how much does it cost? Thank you.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Check to see if your country is on the list, if it is then probably yes, if not then probably not.

    • Gg De Gala Gg De Gala

      Hello DoC. I am in similar situation. May i know about your experience getting a VOA in LoWu Border. Were you able to get a visa. I fly in HK and plan to spend a day after my arrival in Shenzhen and be back the same day. Appreciate your reply as to whether I could get a VOA at LuWo. Thank you.

  74. Andy Andy

    Thanks for this great guide, Oli! Been to SZ early August on an EU passport and everything still works exactly as described. The opening hours of the VISA office are in Peter Burks flickr (7am – 11:30pm – thanks for that, too Peter!) :
    Since waiting times can reach an hour, sometimes, I would make sure not to arrive at the last minute – haven’t tried it, but I just wouldn’t risk to be turned away.

  75. Shanie Shanie

    Today, 7th September 2015 I can confirm shenzhen visa cost for Australian citizen is 184rmb. They are not currently giving to Indian citizens (my husband is Indian and got denied, so we turned around and returned to HK)

  76. Milos Milos

    I am making a trip to Shanghai in the winter, with a travel to Hong Kong in “the middle” – so, I do have a double-entry full Chinese visa.

    Now, I’m considering a day trip to Shenzhen from Hong Kong, which would constitute a third entry into China, something my visa does not cover. So my question would be – can I get the 5-day Shenzhen visa at the border with my full Chinese visa still good for one more entry, essentially “saving” this entry for Hong Kong – Shanghai flight after my return to HK from Shenzhen. Will the immigration officers know not to “use” the full Chinese visa and to go for Shenzhen visa instead?

    Before you suggest getting the multiple entry visa for China, it requires much more paperwork, while double entry is very easy to get and does not involve certified letters from China; this is why I’m considering this method.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Hard to say. I would try to read the small print of the visas. It may be that you cannot get the 5-day visa if you have any other Chinese visa currently. I have no idea, but like you say, it’s hard to predict what the immigration officer might do.

      • Andy Andy

        In my case, on seeing the full China VISA, they denied the 5-day VISA (which I otherwise do get) and forced me to use that first. So if you plan on doing that, maybe get a second passport for the full China VISA.

  77. Gg De Gala Gg De Gala

    Philippine passport holder. Will I eligible to get a 5 day visa on arrival. i am staying in Hk this Sept 25-27 and will visit Shenzhen for a day on the 26th and then be back to HK also.
    Will I be issued a visa. Thank you.

  78. A Tiara A Tiara

    Just got back from a trip to HK & Shenzhen (Sep 15th – Sep 18th in Shenzhen). I applied for the 5 day Shenzhen visa and the procedure was like described above. I have a Finnish passport. Also, based on accents there were a couple of Australians and Germans doing the same thing. I got to the visa office around 11am and the whole process took approx 15 min.


  79. fede fede

    Hi There,

    I need to go to Guangzho. for a 1 day trip and I don’t have time to do an express visa.
    Do you think I can apply to a visa in lou wu enter the border in shenzhen and than catch a train to GZ?
    what will be the risk?

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I don’t know exactly what the risks or punishments are.

      Logistically no doubt you could do it, but if your passport was checked at any point then they would see that your visa does not allow you to leave the Shenzhen special zone.

      It’s not something I would do.

      But no doubt someone somewhere has done this, and with a bit of common sense has probably gotten away with it. Unless you’re 100% certain that you know what you’re doing then I would avoid doing it.

      If you speak the relevant language fluently, ‘look Chinese’, and know how to avoid any contact with train guards/ticket officers, then seemingly it’s possible.

      If you look foreign, cannot speak the language, have never used a regional train in China, and aren’t good at keeping a low profile, then definitely avoid doing this!!

      So no, I don’t recommend this. I’m no expert but China doesn’t seem quite so friendly as Europe when it comes to illegal entry.

  80. Itje Yuliarsih Somamihardja Itje Yuliarsih Somamihardja

    Hi Oli, Iam from Indonesia.
    Can I depart from Bao’an International airport with my voa visa from louwu port?
    Thank you for your help.

  81. Hardeep Hardeep

    Hi, my friend applied for visa at the last minute so he will be getting his passport next day of his departure date. So he didnt apply for it. So is this 5 day entry also valid for Dutch passport holders?

  82. Andrew Murgatroyd Andrew Murgatroyd

    Thanks for the great information on this page. I visited Shenzhen last week and can confirm that you can pay for the visa with a credit card. The payment window clearly displays the standard logos for Visa, Mastercard & UnionPay. I paid with my visa card with no problems. The foreign exchange window was still operating, if you need to change cash.

    It was around noon when I got there and the waiting room was very quiet. There were only 3 or 4 people waiting. I had the visa in a couple of minutes.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Thanks for the update Andrew! Great to hear that the system is still working as expected.

  83. Richard Henry Richard Henry

    My Thai wife and son are planning to go to Hong Kong and would also like to visit Shenzhen. Going to the Chinese Embassy here in Bangkok for visas is a waste of 2 days and if my Thai wife could get a visa at the border it would make things quite easy. Is a Thai passport holder eligible to receive this type of visa at the border?? Thanks for any help.

  84. Shaune Larder Shaune Larder

    I am Australian and will attempt to enter Shenzen on Friday Oct 30th with the 5 day visa. I will let you know how it goes.
    Thanks for writing this information, its very useful

  85. Anonymous Traveller Anonymous Traveller

    Thanks for the guide Olin!

    I was just there (29th of October 2015) and it’s still there. Getting the visa took about 30-40 minutes. Waited in line for a long time.

    I actually went to GZ (Guangzhou). It’s absolutely possible, like you say, but it’s not something I would recommend either. There are many places where your passport is checked; Internet cafe, Hotel, Fairs, Train station. I was checked at all of them but they never bothered to look at my visa.

    I assume that many people do this all the time. But it’s not at all worth the risk.

    If you’re reading this and thinking about getting the SZ 5 day visa and going to GZ. Don’t. Just get the good old China visa, pay a little more, wait a little more, and just play safe. It’s a much nicer trip not worrying about getting caught 🙂

  86. Upandaway Upandaway

    is the Shenzhen 5 Day Visa – from Hong Kong also possible for a german passport holder? what else is required besides a valid passport? how about minor children?

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I’m pretty sure it is yes, I don’t see why not.

      A passport was needed along with a small amount of cash to pay for the visa. Each child would need a passport and the visa payment as well I guess, there was no restriction on age so they could get it also I think.

      Can anyone else reading this confirm?

  87. Niko Niko


    does anyone know if it’s possible to do quick visa run like that in order to prolong my Chinese visa for 5 more days.
    My plan would be to arrive in Louhu check out at the Chinese Immigration, check into HongKong, turn back leave HongKong and apply for the SZ-Visa. All in the same day (or hour) without an overnight stay in HK.


    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I don’t see any reason why not. As long as you had your China visa terminated when you left. What you can’t do, is keep an active China visa going at the same time that you enter on the special Shenzhen visa.

  88. dholio dholio

    I am a Canadian and can confirm that all the info about the Shenzhen visa is correct. No questions asked by the Chinese and the process is done in a few minutes.

  89. Vineet Vineet

    PLEASE NOTE: Indian passport holders are not entitled to get any visa from the Lo Wu. I have Indian passport and HKID as I am working in Hong Kong.

    I went to the Lo Wu station by MTR (on 24-Dec-2015) and after HK immigration counter, crossed over to China side following the photographs provided above. When I went to the visa counter, they clearly told that for Indian passport holders, one has to apply China / Shenzhen visa from HK (I guess from their office in Wan Chai).

    Also, please avoid going there at unless you are sure that your country is eligible for that visa as after this entering back into HK requires a series of verification and questioning.

    • Vineet but more people say’s Shenzhen visa you can get from HK but i want go Shenzhen for 5 day’s can i get Shenzhen visa visa from hongkong
      i am indian i have indian passport

    • a. chandra a. chandra

      hallo vineet, we are family of three want to go to shenzhen from hk. as we are indian passport holder what type of visa we need?

  90. Gijs Gijs

    Hi Oli,

    Nice article! I heard they meassure your stay in the amount of hours you’ve been in China, is that true? Do you just get 5×24 hours or just 5 days?

    (For example, on Monday at 18:00 I apply, so I have time untill Saturday 18:00? Or I apply on Monday and Friday (the fifth day, started from Monday) I have to be out of the country?)

    Another question, can I leave Shenzhen by train if I don’t need to book a hotel in my city of destination (got a friend there)?

    How many times can you apply for a visa like this? I need around 4-6 times, I guess.

    I hope some of you guys can help me! Would really appreciate it.

    Best Regards,

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      No, it’s simply days, and I believe it ends at midnight on the 5th day.

      You could leave Shenzhen, but if you did then your visa would be invalid, and you’d be an illegal immigrant, I honestly don’t know how they are treated in China.

      I don’t think there is a limit to the amount of visas that you can have. Clearly you need to leave and thus end the previous visa before applying for another.

      • Niko Niko


        I also have a similar question.

        First my experience about this issue:
        When I did this visa, I basically got a 6 day visa.
        For example, I made the visa and entered China at the 14th (it was at the evening, I don’t know if that matters) and I had to leave on the 19th.

        So I want to ask, if anyone can confirm that it is always like that?

  91. Babar Babar


    Can you confirm how much fee for 5 days SEZ visa on arrival (VOA) at Shenzhen border, Huangang border and Shekou port?

    Also need to know their locations and working hours. Do i need to bring photo?

    All information will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks and best regards,

  92. Sebastian Sebastian

    Hi Oli,
    I’ve read your post and it is really informative.
    I’m from Bali, and planning to go to HK in June. I’m also interested in visiting Shenzhen and Guangzhou, since they have 5-days visa and 72-hours visa.
    If possible, I want to take a trip like this : HK -> SZ -> GZ -> HK
    My guess is, I would need to get a different visa when I’m going from SZ to GZ. Do you know how and where can I apply visa to enter GZ while I’m in SZ ?
    And would there be a problem if I want to enter HK again from GZ ?
    I’m planning to visit those three places by trains.

    Thank you in advance

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Sorry I’m not sure, my guess would be that you might need to leave SZ first, all depending on where you can apply for the GZ visa. It may be that it can only be applied for from outside of ‘mainland’ China.

  93. Jake Jake

    I managed to obtain a Guangzhou visa 2 yrs ago at the lu wo border with the help of the travel agency ” at the top of the escalator “. I want to telephone them. Anyone know their name or number?

    • Steven Steven

      As far as I’m aware of, one day visa service at Shenzhen Lowu no longer exists, that refers to general Chinese visa not the one in discussion here so-called 5 day SZ visit visa.

  94. Kevin Kevin

    I’m planning to visit Shenzhen in May 2016.
    Can anyone tell me how to get from Hongkong Airport to the city center of Shenzhen, so that I can qchieve a 5-day-visa en route? in other words: what is the fastest way from the airport to Shenzhen, and can I get this special visa at other border crossing points as well, or only at Lo Wu?

  95. yello yello

    Currently (since about 1 year) you can ONLY get 5 day Shenzhen Visa at the Lowu border. No other visa! Those shops are still there, but they do other things now.

    This passports can NOT get the 5-day visa: IN, FR, US, PH

    UK can, but it’s rmb 304.

    Safest way from HK Airport

    1. Buy an Octopus card
    2. Take bus A43 to Sheung Shui (HK$30.90) ~50 Minutes
    3. Enter MTR (no need for ticket, you have Octopus ~HK$20)
    4. Take the one stop to Lowu (~5 Minutes)
    5. Go to top of page and read how to get the visa.

    I strongly suggest Lowu if you want to get 5day visa.

    • Oscar Oscar

      Hi Yello.
      Thank you very much for you updated information (Oli, thanks to you too 😉
      I’m Spaniard and I’d like to know if we can get this visa.
      Thanks a lot.



  97. Ian Ian

    Indian passport holders are not eligible for the Shenzhen visa on arrival. However, passport holders of any nation with diplomatic relations with China (including India) can visit Shenzhen for up to 6 days under the “144-hour Convenient Visa to Guangdong Province” arrangement by joining a tour organised by a registered Hong Kong travel agent consisting of a minimum of 2 people;

  98. Alexander Alexander

    Just quick update: I just received the Visa for 5 days without any problems (German). You all have fun in SZ!

  99. sam senses sam senses

    Hi.I have Canadian passport but in the passport it shows that I born at Turkey.For 5 days Shenzhen visa,even I born in Turkey and have Canadian,is it possible to get 5 days schenzhen visa at lo wu?thx in advance….

    • yello yello

      CA passport is no problem to get the 5-day visa at the border. Your place of birth is not relevant.

  100. B0yd B0yd

    Just did this- your directions are 100% spot on. Anyone looking cannot get lost. Basically, follow the crowd and walk as far as you can go before you are actually in China. Then, turn around to the left and you’ll see those 2 escalators. Head up them you can’t not see them. Otherwise just ask any Chinese official. Thanks so much for this, made it a breeze

  101. Peter Peter


    Thanks a lot, worked perfectly for Irish citizen, as some above pointed out there is now the “Port Visa” sign after the walkway basically attached to the side of the escalators up. Still 168 Yuan unless you are from a listed exception country.

    Thanks again!!

  102. Andrei Andrei


    How many times can I cross the border having 5 days visa?
    Is it just into China and back within 5 days or I can cross the border as many times as I like within this 5 days period of time?
    Thank You.

  103. yello yello

    The 5 day visa is only for one entry. After you left China you need to buy a new one again.

  104. Andrei Andrei


    To make it clear, I fly to Hong Kong where I do not need any visa to stay.
    I proceed to Lo Wu by train and buy visa for 5 days to stay within Shenzhen.
    If I enter China ,say, Monday 11.00 am then when am I supposed to leave Shenzhen?
    Friday by 11.00am or Thursday by 24.00?
    If I do not need visa to Hong Kong so obviously it is just 1 time pay of 169 Yuan to enter China and come back to Hong Kong, right? I do not need to pay again when I enter Hong Kong from China?

    • yello yello

      You didn’t say what passport you hold, but for most countries you get visa on arrival in Hong Kong. No matter you arrive by flight, or from China.

      If you enter Monday 11.00 then strictly speaking you have to leave by Sat 11:00. Maybe they let you go at Sat 23:59 – but this is something you better ask. And remember, Lowu border closes at midnight. (Futian at 22:30, Huanggang is open 24 hours).

  105. Andrei Andrei

    Thank You for a reply.
    We shall have Lithuanian and Estonian passes.
    Regards the payment is it just one time pay to cross to China and back to Hong Kong within 5 days?
    No need to pay another 168 Yuan on the way back to Hong Kong within 5 day distance?

  106. Andrei Andrei

    Thank You.
    Do You have any idea where to quiery regards 5 day visa possibility for Lithuania, Estonia?
    Any chinese authority e-mail?

  107. yello yello

    No. You need to ask in person. That means, if you can’t get a visa you entered China without visa and may get a fine. I will ask next time I cross the border.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      I live in Europe, so I can’t go and ask unfortunately. I’m fairly sure it might be possible. Most countries were on the list.

      Perhaps the next person who reads this and follow the instructions could check to see if Lithuania is on the list, and let us know.

  108. Andrei Andrei

    I hope so.
    Next person, please let us know about Estonian and Lithuanian passes being ok for the 5 day visa to Shenzhen :)))

  109. Andrei Andrei

    Another issue, do You have any idea where to stay in Shenzhen for 5 days?
    3-4 star hotels shall do.
    Any suggestions?

    • Steven Steven

      It depends where about in SZ you would like to stay. Normally, you should be able to get room by walking into any hotel, presenting your passport with a valid visa (the hotel reception will take a photocopy of your visa page).
      Prices vary, starting from RMB120 plus/night, again it all depends on the location and hotel rating, room condition, etc.
      From personal experience, hotels located in Baoan area are way cheaper than in CBD areas such as Futian, Nanshan and Lowu (Luohu).

  110. amor amor

    hello if any one can confirm that i can take this visa on 2016. im from tunisia and i have this visa for 3 time on 2015

    • yello yello

      When it was OK in 2015 it should be OK now. The SZ 5-day visa does not follow the general China visa rules.

  111. Hey!
    I’m polish and I’ve visited Shenzhen last weekend using 5days VOA. For me it costed 475 RMB. All the process took less than 5 min and everything is as smooth as Oli wrote.

    To leave Shenzhen you can use any border crossing point or port but to enter from HK i think it’s only Lo Wu/ Lou Hou.

    Everything is easy and zero problems. Just remember that’s only valid for Shenzhen.

  112. Simon Dale Simon Dale

    Hi Oli

    I came through the border and got a 5 day visa. It’s my fifth time doing that in the last 3 years. I paid a bit more attention today and here are some updated for you:

    Louhu/ LoWu tourist visa office is open until 11pm every day.

    It’s 304 RMB for a British passport. (As your guide says).

    They take Visa, Amex and Union Pay. (No Mastercard sign).

    Port visa is the term (there’s a sign which says “Port Visa”). Or landing visa.

    Shekhou port also issues landing visas but they close at 5pm.

    I hope this is useful. I’ve always made sure I got to LouHu before 5pm in the past but now I know there’s no need!



  113. Oscar Oscar

    Hi everyone!
    I’ll be in September in HK and I’d like to stay a pair of days in Shenzhen. Does anyone know who has crossed the border recently with this visa if the Spaniards can get this one? I think it’s possible, but I’m not sure.

    Thanks for the help!

  114. Adriaan Adriaan

    Hi everyone,

    I was last week (July 2017) in Hong Kong and went to ShenZhen for business. With a dutch passport it was no problem getting the 5 day visa.

    Kind regards,


  115. neil pickering neil pickering

    I plan to book a ticket from UK via Singapore arriving in Shenzhen. From there I will go immediately to Hong Kong. Do I need any mainland China visa, or a 5 day Shenzhen visa, or no visa at all? There are several cities which have a 72 hour visa-free, but Shenzhen is not one. The alternative could be to go from Singapore to Guangzhou & then take a connecting plane from Guangzhou to HK (there are no planes from Shenzhen to HK of course). I cannot travel directly from Spr to HK, as there are no tickets on the airmiles I am using. Thank you.

  116. Steven Steven

    This type of visa/permit to Shenzhen might not be always workable! It happens on an ad-hoc bases that the HK custom officer will check weather you have a valid visa to enter mainland before letting you cross the border to the other side of the bridge. This is something to bear in mind!

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      If you were eligible for a HK visa/stamp on arrival (most of the world) then this wouldn’t be an issue. Perhaps if you had to apply to go to Hong Kong for some reason initially, then yes, this situation could occur.

      I can’t say I’ve heard of this being a problem – if you could not get the Shenzhen visa for some reason you would be in ‘no mans land’, from which you could immediately return to HK.

      To repeat – if you arrived in Hong Kong and got your arrival stamp without a problem at the airport, then the above scenario would not be relevant for you.

    • yello yello

      This is not correct. Your China visa is only checked at check-in when you fly to China, but not when you leave Hong Kong.

  117. whykid whykid

    Hi all,

    First of all thanks everyone for the above amention comments. It is really useful to me and I think for everyone else.

    I have one question which I haven’t seen mentioned:

    Do you need to use the 5 days Visa right away? or is it possible to apply/get the Visa on e.g. 1st of October and use it between 4 til 9 of October?


    • yello yello

      You get the 5-day visa at the border, after HK immigration, means after you left HK, and must use it right away.

  118. Don Don

    Hi, thanks for this article! We are wanting to go to Shenzhen for a day when we are in Hong Kong. However we are from South Africa. Do you know if we will be allowed the visa? Don’t want to take the train there just to be told that we can’t go in.

    Thank you! Appreciate it.

  119. Filipina Filipina

    Hi, can anyone please advise if Philippine passport holders can apply for a Shenzhen visa at the HK border? Any information will be helpful. Thanks!




    Hi! Thank you very much for the tips and instructions. I will be going from HK to Shenzhen on the 9th September and I am wondering if anyone has recently gotten a 5 day visa? I read in a few places that it has stopped as of August 3rd 2016?

    I have a HK ID and a UK passport.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      Thanks Richard!

      Here’s that page translated into English, has some useful info on the 5-Day visa.

      “First, the ports (landing) in the city have visa Luohu, Huanggang, Shekou and Fuyong.
      Lo Wu Control Point office hours: 9: 00 Night: 10:30
      Huanggang Control Office Hours: 9: 00-13: 00,14: 30-17: 00
      Shekou Port Office Hours: 8: 45-12: 30,14: 30-17: 30
      Fuyong Port Office Hours: 8: 30- 5:30 pm
      Port (landing) visa authorities Guangdong Provincial Public Security Bureau in Shenzhen Entry-Exit Visa Office

      Second, the visas of foreigners Visa:
      1, holders of ordinary passports of foreigners apply for the “Shenzhen Special Economic Zone tourist visa” to fill in “Visa card.”
      2, fill out the “Visa Card”, the passport together with cross-staff, and answer questions.
      3, “Shenzhen Special Economic Zone tourist visa” for a single entry, it can (calculated from the day issued) in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone to stay five days. This visa holders are not allowed to leave the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.
      4, pay the visa fee. According to the principle of national standards and other charges.
      5, office hours (Luohu Port): 9:00 to 22:30.

      Third, limit sign situation
      According to “People’s Republic of China Entry and Exit of Aliens Act Implementation Rules”, these foreigners are not allowed entry.
      1, was deported Chinese government, allowed under the entry number of years;
      2, considered likely to engage after entry of terror, violence and subversive activities;
      3, is considered possible after entry smuggling, drug trafficking, prostitution;
      4, suffering from mental disorder, leprosy, AIDS, venereal diseases, open tuberculosis and other infectious diseases;
      5, can not protect themselves financially during China’s;
      6, considered likely to engage after entry of other activities that endanger our national security and interests of.
      Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau”

  122. Jackie Jackie

    Thank you for your information.
    I will be staying in Hong Kong and am planning on going to Shenzen for 4 nights. Your visa information is valuable. I have a British passport

  123. Todd Todd

    This worked perfectly this morning, spent the day walking around Shenzhen and back late in the afternoon (Australian Passport)

    Thank you for the information!

  124. Steven Steven

    What kind of Heading is this “How to Visit China without a Visa”!
    Are you an an idiot!!!
    What do you think a 5 Day Visa is??? Its a Visa you fool!
    and to let you know …they are 6 day Visa’
    Searches are filled with Assholes like you posting misleading information !

    • Oli Norwell Oli Norwell

      And blog posts are filled with idiots like you posting stupid comments….

      It was very clear to the other 200,000+ people reading the article that ‘without a visa’, means without going to the trouble of getting a full Chinese visa, which involves a trip to the embassy and a wait for approval (I did that, took ages, got rejected as didn’t have the right ‘invite’). Whereas this method allows you to arrive at the Chinese border having done nothing, and in 5 minutes get entry into the country.

    • yello yello

      Steve, no, it’s a 5 day visa. Maybe you confuse that with special 6 day Guangdong only visa that you get only be joining a group.

      Information about the 5-day Shenzhen visa is very hard to find and often wrong. This is a good page.

      Somebody ask a while ago if South Africans can get the 5-day Shenzhen visa – the answer is: no, sorry (I ask last week)

  125. gabriele gabriele

    hi oli
    thanks for your help
    i need to ask jut to be sure if is possible have this 5 days visa to go from Hongkong to shenzhen city
    couse i will stay in shenzhen and than i ‘m going to came to hongkon for some days and i need to back in shenzhen cause i have to take my fly back to italy.
    so i can just follow your instruction and take 5 days visa to stay one day more in shenzhen before my fly ? thanks a lot

    • yello yello

      There should be no problem:

      1. Italian passports should be OK for the 5-day SZ visa

      2. With the SZ visa you can exit from SZ/Baoan Airport if the flight is international. However you can not fly to other cities in Mainland China.

  126. Gabriele Gabriele

    Hi u. I have to ask you if i take 5 days visa in hongkon to shenzhen i must use it inmeditially or i can use olso one month later if i have already one visa to china entry?

    • yello yello

      The 5-day SZ visa you get AFTER Hong Kong immigration. That means you can not return to HK after getting it. So you can not get it in advance, it’s for immediate use only.

  127. Adam Adam

    Hi. I wanted to know the status on Israeli passport holders. I have used Luohu/Lo Wu at least 5/6 times over the last 3/4 years and have never had a problem and pay RMB 168 (except that last time I had a new Israeli passport – got the SEZ Visa no problem – and then had the passport stamper (police?) look at my passport with a magnifying glass for 10 minutes to the point I wasn’t sure I’d get admitted [not that I blame her, for a high-tech country, Israeli passports are very low-tech, non-biometric, and the laminate on the picture page is kind of slightly off the paper underneath…].

    However, I am going back next month and just saw on several websites, including Wikipedia, that Israeli passports are not entitled to SEZ visas! Has something changed since my last time in May 2016? It is very hard to tell because none of the internet sources are properly dated. Any help/update would be appreciated.

    One more thing – in June 2014, my family (all on Israeli passports) easily used our SEZ visas to visit Guangzhou – no problem taking the train from Shenzhen (they asked for our passports, or at the hotel. Likewise, you do not need to leave the SEZ from the same port you entered.

  128. Gabriele Gabriele

    Ok yea but i mean. I have visa with 2 entry from my country. First i use when arrive in china. I mean is possible if i go to hk when i ll back in shenzhen take 5 day visa and so “keep” second entry from my italian visa for came for example in macau the week next?

    • yello yello

      No, this is NOT possible. You can only have ONE valid China visa. I suggest you do HK and MO in one trip, there are plenty of ferries from HK to Macau. You don’t need a visa for HK or Macau.

      If you have a China visa you can enter China from Macau to Zhuhai.

      • Jay Jay

        That’s correct. With a full China VISA, they will deny the 5-day SZ port VISA and make you use one of the entries of the regular VISA (even explicitly tried for myself, without luck).

        Apart from that, things at least for European passports are still the same as mentioned before. Even getting them in a row is no problem. On the third attempt, after exit, short metro ride to Sheung Shui and back and applying again, they asked for proof of the entry into HK – so be sure to keep the small HK entry paper till at least after entry into SZ!

        Exit from SZ is possible through about any port to HK (or the airport), just entry is limited to a very few offering the port VISA (Lo Wu being one of them).

  129. Dannybat Dannybat

    Hello Oli and everyone!
    Thanks so much for the article. I’d like to know if the 5-days-VOA is actually 5 real days.
    If I enter to SZ on Monday morning, should I leave on Friday or Saturday?
    It sounds like a stupid question but when talking about visas….
    In Thailand, from the very moment you step in, you already spend a day of your visa so I just wanted to know if here in China the policy is more logical.
    Thanks so much!

  130. leevo leevo

    Turkish ppl cant get that visa. They told me they dont have power to give visa or turkish ppl.

  131. shine shine

    Hi! Can somebody shed some light to my inquiries? Me and my friend is a filipina domestic helper here in Hong Kong, is it possible for us to get a VOA in shenzen so we can spend our day off there touring the place? Thanks for the answer.

  132. Matteo Matteo

    Hi you. I will go to shenzhen from italy next month. And i have only one visa for china. But when i will be ther in shenzhen i will go to hk surely. So i have to ask if i can take 5 days visa when i will back in shenzhen ( and 3 days after i will fly from shenzhen to Roma ) ?
    The office to take visa is open during all metro time ? Or there is some restriction?
    Thanks a lot


    Hi kindly note i am a indian is it possible have i land to hongkong with on arival visa and then go to shenzhen via train and get the visa?

  134. Matteo Matteo

    Hi you. I will go to shenzhen from italy next month. And i have only one visa for china. But when i will be ther in shenzhen i will go to hk surely. So i have to ask if i can take 5 days visa when i will back in shenzhen ( and 3 days after i will fly from shenzhen to Roma ) ?
    The office to take visa is open during all metro time ? Or there is some restriction?
    Thanks a lot

  135. chin chin

    hi i am a philippine passport holder, could i possibly acquire the 5 day visa to shen zhen from hongkong? i had visited shanghai and brijing already.

  136. gigi gigi

    hi i need to thank u cause i was in HK and i taken my 5 days visa to shenzhen following your advice, it was fast, safe and cheap.
    thanks thanks

    can just tell me if is possible have the same visa more time or just one = ? cause i will back in hk in 2 months and if is possible i would take again this visa to Shenzhen…
    thanks thanks

  137. yello yello

    It was mentioned before that Indian passport holders can’t get the 5- day visa. Means can not.

    If you are on a single entry in China now, and you go to Hong Kong your China visa is then expired. You can go back to China right away and can get the 5-day visa at Lowu or Huanggang border. You can also fly from Shenzhen to outside China, but not with another stopover in China,

    @Shine & Chin
    Contrary to what Diamzon is saying my information is that PH passport holders can NOT get the 5 day visa no matter what. I will double check next time I go.

    You can get the 5-day visa every time you go to China. No problem to go a few times. You need a new one every time you go.

    Here is another page with some information about the 5 day visa:

  138. yello yello

    I check yesterday at Luwo/Luohu border. PH passport can’t get the 5-Day SZ visa, even if they were in China before. If you were give the 5-Day visa then there was probably a policy change (which is quite frequent and does not get announced or published anywhere.)

    PS: Changsha is in Hunan, not Yunnan

  139. Kim Kim

    Hi Oli,

    I just wanna ask regarding what some infos regarding that 5-day visa going to SZ. I am planning to spend christmas (dec25 and 26) to SZ. I have a PHILIPPINE Passport. Is it true as what @yello said that PH passport can’t get a 5day visa? Thank you

  140. Gabriele Gabriele

    Hello and thanks for everything
    I had my 5 days visa 2 times thanks to u
    But now inhave this question couse inhave sse your answer to @gigi

    Is possible: came to hk, stay 2 days, back in shenzhen with 5 days visa, and than back to hk, and the same day back in china and ask another 5 days visa( than i have my fly from shenzhen to paris)

    Is possible? Thank u

  141. Guido Guido

    My passport expires in September this year. When I go for a Chinese visa application in the Netherlands my passport needs to remain valid for half year. Is there any such requirement for a 5 days Shenzhen visa?

  142. Ilyaas Ilyaas

    Do you know if I can apply for a Chinese Visa while in Hong Kong (given that it’s not my home country)? And if so how long will it take to process?

  143. Basilis Basilis

    April 2017:
    crossed the border early in the morning (about 8am) visa was easy to obtain, took about 5 minutes and it’s also easy to find, after the footbridge there’s a sign leading to “port visa”!
    visa cost 168 RMB for Austrian citizens!

  144. @Gabriele
    You can leave China to Hong Kong and go right back and apply another 5-day SZ visa – note that French passport holders can NOT get that visa!

    Totally no problem if for fun or business, or both.

    I don’t think there is such 6M requirement for the 5-day-SZ-Visa

    You ask for a full China visa, right? Check with FBT, they can reply certain:

  145. Peter Knappertsbusch Peter Knappertsbusch

    I as a german Passport holder got a refusal for the 5-day-Shenzhen Visa…. no reasons given. The whole process is intransparent, random and shows unprofessional actions from Chinese border control. What a waste of time to travel there!

    • Richie Richie

      Same here in December 2017. Had a new passport (my first) and got refused. Empty passport given as reason.

  146. Daniel Daniel

    This is an excellent article. Thanks a million, Oli.
    I live and work in SZ, and this is a great way for UK pals to make short and cheap visits, as we stay in SZ and renew the visa as necessary (for SZ only).
    My preferred port of area is Huanggang, far less busy, and a better taxi services but no immediate metro link.
    Thanks again, Oli. Happy travelling.

  147. Memhmood Memhmood

    Does anyone know if it will be possible to get a 5 day Shenzhen visa from the new west kowloon port to get there via the new bullet train?

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