ben boyd

Travelled to 10 countries / regions

Written 24 briefs
live in hong kong and go to china frequently



Asia > Hong Kong S.A.R. > Hong Kong > Useful Info
Submitted on Nov 19, 2018 Useful Info

How to get Chinese visa in Hong Kong by yourself

Do you need one?

  • If you only plan to visit Shenzhen, you can get a 5-day visa-on-arrival at the border. You don't need to apply for a regular visa in Hong Kong (what this write up is about)
  • You also have the option of visiting china visa free for a few days if you're transiting to another country (like hong kong -> shanghai -> US). More details on eligibility
  • So only apply to a regular Chinese visa if you plan to travel multiple cities in China for more than a week

How long does it take to get the visa in Hong Kong?

  • 4 business days for regular service
  • 3 business days for express service
  • 2 business days for rush service

Visa fees

  • Fees vary a lot by country, for example:
  • US citizens: $1340HKD ($171US) for regular service
  • Canadian citizens: $850HKD ($143CAD) for regular service
  • UK citizens: $1180HKD (£117) for regular service
  • The current fee schedule is here. The first page of this schedule is the default fee for all countries. The second through last pages of this schedule is for countries with specific fees. If your countries is not specifically listed, then refer to the first page
  • Express and rush services obviously cost a lot more
  • Payment is by cash or Hong Kong debit card

Steps to apply

  • Get all the documents ready:
  1. Your passport valid for at least 6 more months and 1 blank page
  2. A photocopy of your passport information page (the page with your photo, name, etc.)
  3. Completed visa application form (link here)
  4. One 48mm by 33mm photo against white background (photo requirements)
  5. Proof of entry into Hong Kong or any related residency permits for Hong Kong. For most western passport holders this refers to the entry slip they gave you when you arrived in Hong Kong
  6. A photo copy of the proof of entry/residency permit from the previous point
  7. Either a:
  8. Print out of your return flight confirmation and print out of all your hotels or AirBNBs booked (you don't necessarily need to have every single night booked, but the more the better). This is what most tourists use
  9. OR, an invitation letter if you're visiting friends and not staying in hotels
  10. If you had Chinese citizenship before, you need to do one of the following, either:
  11. Have another Chinese visa in your current passport
  12. Bring a photocopy of a previous passport that contained a Chinese visa (photocopy the photo, info, and Chinese visa pages)
  13. Bring your previous Chinese passport and a photocopy of its data/photo page
  • Book an appointment online for the visa application center, and print out the confirmation. You can book on their English website https://bio.visaforchina.org/HKG2_EN (click "Quick Access", then you'll see the appointment button). It's optional to book an appointment, but I personally did it to avoid the line up that gets very long
  • Go to the visa application center with all your docs at Floor 20, Capital Center, 151 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The closest MTR station is Wan Chai station on Island Line (dark blue line), a 10-minute walk away. Their opening hours as of 2018:
  • For application: Monday-Friday 9am-4pm (9am-noon for expedited services), closed on weekends and holidays.
  • For pick up: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm (noon-5pm for expedited services), closed on weekends and holidays
  • Check their website for current info
  • At the visa application center, go to the reception desk and get a queue number. The desk will ask to see your passport, documents, and appointment confirmation printout (if you booked an online appointment)
  • Then, just wait for your queue number to be displayed on the TV screen (sit somewhere you can see the TV screen easily). The TV screen will show you which counter you go to as well. With an appointment I waited for about 5 minutes. Without an appointment you can easily wait 30 min or more
  • Go to the counter shown, and give them all your documents. If everything is in order, they'll instruct you to pay. Pay the fee, get the pick-up form, and you're all set
  • On the day specified on your pick up form, go back to the visa center and collect your passport. That's it

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