China Visa Travel Tips

Shenzhen visa

(update on 25 Aug 2014: it is reported that passport holders of Philippines and USA are not given Shenzhen Visa at the border.)

If you plan to go to Shenzhen from Hong Kong, just get a Shenzhen visa at Lowu or Huanggang border. No need to apply for a China visa in advance. But this is the case only if you are a passport holder of certain countries, such as most of the EU countries, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. US citizens are not eligible for this Shenzhen visa, so are passport holders of the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Cameroon, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Israel, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The Shenzhen Visa Office at Lowu is immediately upstairs after clearing the Hong Kong immigration and customs. It is open 9AM-10:30PM seven days a week and accepts RMB for payment only. The visa is a five-day visa and costs RMB160. If you are a UK passport holder, you will be charged a much higher fee at about RMB470.

A friend has just got a Shenzhen visa for RMB160 at Lowu border. According to him, the whole process took about half an hour. You will first get your queue number, and when it is your turn, you give your passport to the staff for checking, followed by making payment at another counter. You will then have to wait again for your turn  to collect your passport, this time with the visa.

It was a Sunday when my friend applied for the Shenzhen visa, and the visa office, he said, was surprisingly not crowded with foreign travelers, but with Filipino domestic helpers working in Hong Kong and hoping to spend their only free day in a week in Shenzhen.

Note that the Lok Ma Chau border (the one connected by MTR) has no Shenzhen visa service. You can only apply for a Shenzhen visa at Lowu border or Huanggang border.

By Anna

With a wanderlust and lusts of other sorts, I look to sth new, sth different, sth fulfilling, and find myself on a journey...

48 replies on “Shenzhen visa”

I’m Indonesia domestic helper in hong Kong, this Sunday (31 March )i will visit Shenzhen from Lowu for 1 day… Can the Indonesian passport get VOA? and what documents are needed?


Hi I am a British passport holder living in H.K i havent been to China for ages was wandering if i can still get a visa at the border? do i need other documents other than my passport? cos last time i went it was 2011 and all i needed to hand them was my passport. Please help i plan to go ther this Friday.

I am a Liberian who east to come and live in hk , can I also get a visa to Shenzhen?

I’m a Filipino domestic helper ,can anyone to instruct me how and where to get a visa going to shenzhen..

I’m domestic helper her in hk and I’m planning going
to wow shenzhen, can I get visa at the lowu boarder

So sorry to hear this. I think they can turn people from any nationality at their whim. Just updated the post based on your info. Thanks.

We went to szenchen. We took the mtr from hongkong to lowu boarder where you can get visa. Unfortunately when we arrive, as told to us by immigration, AMERICA and PHILIPPINES are not allowed anymore to get visa. We must get visa to go to china in hongkong, we are frustrated we were not allowed and was told to go back to hongkong

I am a filipino, my family will visit hk on september and planning to go to shenzhen for 1 day. Can we get visa at the lo wu boarder!

Can Indians get a 2-3 day shenzen visa? We have a single entry visa to china with which we plan to go sight seeing in shanghai and beijing. we will be than visiting hongkong and having return flight from india. Is it possible to get a visa again at Lowu to shop in shenzen? and does i need We are Indian passport holders,
and does we need hkg visa again afer we return to hkg from shopping from shenzen.
please suggest urgently as i wil be visisitng hongkong on 25th june.
kindly email me on

Can Indians get a 2-3 day shenzen visa? We have a single entry visa to china with which we plan to go sight seeing in shanghai and beijing. Post that we come into Hong Kong. Is it possible to get a visa again at Lowu to shop in shenzen? We are Indian passport holders

1 day shopping….ha…..filipinas….hahahaha. come on now the authorities are not stupid. Filipina domestic workers can apply – but apply in HK with all supporting proper documentation, or apply in your home country. The rest is the sex trade. filipina sex workers are a huge industry in HK and the authorities are not so stupid as to renew your HK visa. There are markets in HK selling the same goods as in Shenzhen and can actually sell cheaper, since chinese exporters do not need to pay tax on these goods. Shopping is not a valid reason. The SZ Visa is primarily used for business people buying goods in China – from factories. Legitimate business people. for tourists when they book their holidays, why visit only Shenzhen when China is such a huge country with wonderful heritage – 5 days is just not enough.

Asia World Expo is next month and visitors will want to visit factories…..this is the real purpose of the visa – for international trade. not to obtain new HK Visas.

I just want to ask if I can tour the WOW in Shenzhen without applying China visa. I’m Domestic helper in Hong Kong and I want to go there for 1day.Can I enter Shenzhen like Macau?

there is no rule to follow. and even if there is rule, it is not followed. that is the status of things about China, which is not governed by rule of law, but rule of those having influence.

next time, you just go get the shenzhen visa at the lowu border.

Hi i have an inquiry and a bit share of what my experience was during the apply of VOA/China visa. i just had the travel last August 27 2013 in Hong Kong with my partner. I am a Filipino and Financial adviser in one of the international investment firm in Phils and my partner is American. We went there for vacation and shopping. We’ve decided after few days staying in Hk, to do shopping in Shenzhen for only just 2days. We found out that there is VOA to visit Shenzhen. So we booked in Marriott hotel on the said place and go right the border to apply, however, they didnt allow me as Filipino to apply in Lowu border and instructed me and my partner to apply in the chinese embassy in harbour wan chai. Right after then on, we went back to station in Lowu and go right directly to what has been instructed with our luggages carried. Unfortunately we didnt make it to the time it was passed the time, so we went on the embassy in Hk on the following day on the afternoon. We lined up with my partner, and i filled up the form given. When it was my turn to be interviewed by the lady consul, she only asked if this was my first time to apply a china visa in HK, and i nod yes, and she said I have to apply in Philippines and not in HK. She has no further reason afterward, she returned my passport back. The only purpose of me and my partner to go Shenzhen is to ahopping and visit wonders of world for 2 days only bec each one have flight back to our country on Sept 2 bec of work and the fact was, we already booked hotel in Marriott and after their Visa feedback, my partner have to cancel the booking of the hotel in Shenzhen. We were so sad and frustrated about it bec our only reason is to do shopping. We’ve been travelling a lot in Asia and enjoyed shopping. Can anybody help me understand more, why they’re not allowing Filipino to apply VoA in Lowu border or China Visa in HK. ? Until now, im back in Philippines, im still figuring why… Thanks

Hi There,

Can anyone help me out, am now in Hong Kong, I would to go to Shenzhen for shopping, one day trip and back, I have Papua New Guinea Passport, am I eligible for a shenzhen border visa for 5 days stay in Shenzhen and return to HK.?

Your tips will are appreciated,


Hello – I am a filipina and will travel to Shenzen just for one night with my Australian boyfriend. He can go straight through but do I need to get a visa before hand or can I apply at the Lu Ho border as well. Thank you and sorry if you have covered this before

im a filipino and my gf and i wants to go to shenzhen today, but we don’t know if i can get the 5 day visa in lo wu…i have the hong kong id too…please let me know if i can get it there


I’ve read an article about nationalities who are eligible in VOA for shenzhen. Filipinos are not listed there. I’m just wondering if we can get a VOA or not. I’m confused! I’m planning to go to shenzhen on January 2012 and I’m getting frustrated that some of the articles I’ve read said that filipinos are not eligible for VOA shenzhen. :((


Hi all,

I am a bit confuse with the VOA rule, if I read on internet, some information told that VOA was closed until August 2011, but open again in Sept 1. But other wrote that he went to Lowu on Sept 5 and no VOA services anymore. But if read Michael’s email, meaning VOA already open again since he just wrote in early Sept. anyone can help for confirm about VOA?Thanks a lot.


I forgot to add. There are signs EVERYWHERE and on the Visa itself, reminding you that it is valid for Shenzhen ONLY.

I did this last Monday afternoon. Exactly as Anna described The visa room was deserted. I applied; paid and received the visa all in five minutes. The Immigration Hall was also empty – I had to fill in the Immigration form in any empty queue line!

As an aside, I found in Shenzhen some of those flashing LED light tapes at CNY 10 per metre. In Hong Kong the same was HKD 100/metre. So that purchase alone saved more than the cost of the visa ;-)

FYI for foreign domestic helpers, filipinos in particular, you cannot get the Visa on arrival at either border crossing :( You have to go into the main office in Wan Chai beforehand and have your visa issued there, then when you goto Shenzhen you can get through the border no problems. The good news is, the Visa’s are a wee bit cheaper in HK than they are at Lo Wu :)

it is best that you call them and check. the domestic helpers in hk from Philippines surely can get the visa. guess all filipinos can.

China is stupid, they are not willing to give this visa for Indians also, kindly update this in your list. I call them and ask before post it here.

i heard from the China embassy in my country, that i can’t take the VoA from shenzhen. i don’t know why, but can u help me? because i plan to visit Shenzen next month. and i need to know if i really can get my visa from Luohu Border? thank u :)

I have at least 20 of these Shenzen Visas in my passport and was there late december and it is still fine to get the Shenzen Visa at the border. I am a UK passport holder and it’s fine. Not sure what this suspension for Asia Games is about, can anyone tell us where you saw that. I.E: website link

Hi Again Ms. Anna,

A friend told me about the ‘games’ or expo. So the tourist are not allowed to enter shenzhen on january. ill be traveling for one day only between january 18- 20. hope you could help me.

thanks a lot! :)

hi there!

i would like to travel shenzhen in one day between january 18-20, 2011. is it possible to get a visa on those days being aware of the olympics?

your response will be much appreciated.

thank you!

Is Shenzhen visa on arrival still available? i heard it has been suspended because of asian games. is Shenzhen VOA available for Malaysian?

if you travel from causeway, take the tunnel bus (bus number with 3 digits and starting with 1) to hung hom, the first stop after crossing the tunnel, and take the train all the way to lowu from there (mongkok station on the east rail line).

I found the information very helpful. I was thinking of crossing the border to Shenzhen just for a dinner with friends, but thought it would be too much hassle but now it seems quite easy.
If I travel from Causeway Bay, is MRT the quickest way to get to the border check point (Lowu)?

hi.. i am indonesian passport holder. I would like to travel to Shenzen on january 23, 2011. As I know 5 days VOA is available for indonesian also. I will be entering shenzen from HK, and will leave Shenzen from Bao’an airport. My questions are :
– is it possible for me to exit shenzen from the airport with my VOA at louhu border?
– until when VOA is suspended for asian games, december 2010 or january 2011?
thank you very much for the reply..

i am a filipinino and i will be traveling to hongkong and macau on january 18-27, 2010, part of my plan is to visit shenzhen, but i have read in the net that the Lo Wu border will not grant any visa until january 2011. If just in case i can get a visa in the border, how much would i pay for the visa paypent and can i stay in shenzhen for 3 days? lastly, if i can’t get a visa at the border is there any other option in getting a visa for shenzhen? pls guide me.. pls e mail me for your response at your help is highly appreciated!

I have a u.s. passport and want to go to shenzhen, china today but i don’t have a visa right now. Where shall i go to have a visa and how much will i pay?

hello. i am a Filipina now in MLA.. and will visit HK on sept 25, and plan to go straight to LO WU to get a Shenzhen VISA for a day or 2 shopping at SHENZHEN, then bk to HK. How to get to LO WU from HK airport? What else do i need to know and what do i need to bring and be ready with for a fast VISA process? This will be my 1st time to travel there.. and alone. Thanks very much :)

what you get at the border is shenzhen visa, not china visa. that is different – you must be clear on this.

i am not Chinese authority. so I cannot be sure about the list. what is more, everything about China is flux. they can change things at whims. if you want to be 100% sure, call up the shenzhen authority. that is the best way going about it. you can find their contact information online.

But since my friend saw a number of filipinos (working in hk as domestic helpers) at the shenzhen visa office, i tend to think you should have no problem getting a Shenzhen visa at the border. Again, shenzhen visa is different from China visa. And don’t take what is written here as the official information. it is just some information sharing. you have to decide for yourself how to use the information.


I am a Filipino and will be travelling to HK soon. I would have wanted to get a Shenzhen at the HK boarder but saw in some websites of a new legislation for Filipino passport holders to get their visas in their country of origin. But in your list, Philippines is not included. Are you sure about this? thanks.

Is the Shenzhen visa good to travel elsewhere in China, e.g. Guangzhou?
Thanks for the info!

Leave a Reply

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