China Visa

Nick Wallace

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I’m travelling to Beijing and Hong King in September. I know I’ll need a tourist visa to visit Beijing (travelling on Australian Passport), but if I wanted to take a day trip to Shenzhen from Hong Kong, will I need to apply for a multiple entry visa for China or can I travel to Beijing on a regular tourist visa and then when I enter Shenzhen from Hong King apply for the Shenzhen SEZ Visa on arrival?
 

moa999

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If you're under 6 days and not leaving Beijing region and flying Aust-PEK-HKG then you might be able to use the 144-hr TWOV.

Shenzhen can definitely be done via the VOA, so you'd only need a single entry for PEK
 

equus

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There is also a difference between multiple entry and double entry visas.

For Australian passport holders, the Chinese Visa options (last time I looked 9 months ago, and have been that way for years), are single entry, double entry, 6 month multiple entry and 12 month multiple entry.

To get a multiple entry (either 6 month or 12 month) you have to have has a previous Chinese visa and visited China on it within the previous 12 months. If you haven't had one before, or it was more than 12 months ago, then single or double entry is the only option.

Also beware if going the visa route, that the Chinese requirement for the photo is different to the standard passport photo requirement (and it changed about 18 months ago). Got caught out as partner's ear rings made the photo not acceptable, so had to do another one.

Other considerations:
Passport Real Estate - each Chinese visa of VOA (and not sure about TWOV) takes up a whole page - so using lots of them eats into space.
Wait times - depending on the time you cross (day, time of day, season), you can waste an hour or so getting the VOA (or you can be lucky and only take a few minutes).
Certainty - not likely to happen again, but during the Olympics, VOA was suspended. Never seen Shenzhen so dead and the touts so desperate. Having a Visa meant that there were no issues.
Cost - the Chinese Visa - single or double entry isn't cheap - the TWOV and VOA will likely end up cheaper, but there is a value to certainty of having the visa up front.
 

moa999

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Passport Real Estate -
Wait times -

Shanghai TWOV (or Temporary Entry Permit) as the sticker says is 1/4 page (as of a month ago)

Shenzhen is a small oval stamp going in, and rectangular coming out (as of a couple of years ago)

As mentioned elsewhere I waited 90min recently at Shanghai for a TWOV after a late QF129 arrival
 
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auriga

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Shanghai TWOV (or Temporary Entry Permit) as the sticker says is 1/4 page (as of a month ago)

Shenzhen is a small oval stamp going in, and rectangular coming out (as of a couple of years ago)

As mentioned elsewhere I waited 90min recently at Shanghai for a TWOV after a late QF129 arrival

I am quite sure for Shenzhen, there is a full page sticker as well.
 

MEL_Traveller

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If anyone is planning travel to China please note that as far as I can make out, all existing visas, including multiple entry and resident permits, are no longer valid. Anyone wanting to travel to China needs to apply for a new visa. The new visas will only be granted for certain exceptional circumstances.
 
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