Information on how to get a Shenzhen Visa can be hard to come by, with everyone from your travel agent to the Chinese Embassy giving conflicting advice. We have put together what we believe to be the most concrete information on the Shenzhen visa situation.
In coordination with the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong and travellers real life experiences, the information here will be as up to date and accurate as you will find on the web. If your experience is different from the advice below, please contribute at the end of the article or, alternatively, add your own question.
Who Is Eligible For A Shenzhen Visa?
Most nationalities are eligible for a Shenzhen Visa, but there are notable exceptions, including the US and, depending on the year, the UK. See a monthly updated list in our Who Can Get a Shenzhen Visa article.
Where Can I Buy a Shenzhen Visa
You can only get a Shenzhen Visa at the Shenzhen border with Hong Kong. You can expect queues on certain days. Read our Where to Buy A Shenzhen Visa article for precise information.
How Long Is a Shenzhen Visa Valid For?
Shenzhen visas are valid for five days. You absolutely must leave Shenzhen before the five days are up. This type of visa cannot be extended and if you overstay the visa, you will find yourself face to face with China’s Public Security Bureau and facing a hefty fine. You do not have to return to Hong Kong at the end of the visa, but you cannot travel further into China unless you have a valid Chinese Visa.
Where Can I Go With a Shenzhen Visa.
Shenzhen visas are valid for the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, including Shenzhen City, Shekou and most of the factories in the surrounding countryside. Guangzhou is not included in the Shenzhen Visa. While you won’t be checked leaving the Shenzhen SEZ, you need a visa to check in hotels in China, and if you’re caught by police outside the Shenzhen SEZ, you may face serious trouble. Alternatively, you may apply for the Guangdong Group Visa (restrictions apply), or you'll need a full Chinese Visa.
How Much Do Shenzhen Visas Cost?
Like prices for a Chinese Visa, prices depend on your nationality; however the standard price is HK$150, and applies to most European passport holders, Canadians and Australians. Prices for UK citizens are substantially higher. You may only pay in Chinese Yuan.
- Can I Buy A Shenzhen Visa In Advance?
No, Shenzhen Visas cannot be purchased from Chinese Embassy’s or the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong. They can only be bought at the Lo Wu border crossing.
- How Many Times Can I Travel Between Hong Kong and Shenzhen on a Shenzhen Visa?
Shenzhen Visas are only valid for a single entry. There is no limit on how many Shenzhen visas you can obtain, although, if you want to visit Shenzhen a number of times, you'd be better investing in a multiple entry Chinese Visa.