Chinese Visa situation for boat from Kinmen to Xiamen

There are some threads about this already but I just wanted to breach the subject again in case there is any new information.

I’m heading down to Kinmen with my GF’s family, and they are interested in going to Xiamen for three days via boat. I have a US passport and Taiwan ARC, but no visa for China. So there are a couple questions I have about this:

  1. There is now a 144-hour transit visa for Xiamen; however it seems like it’s necessary that I depart to a third country. I’m assuming that there is no flexibility on this? I could book a refundable flight to a third country to show immigration on arrival, but I imagine there’d be a problem when I left from the same port.

  2. It looks like there is a visa-on-arrival option but it’s only available in the case of emergency (with an invitation letter) or if part of a tour group. Did I miss anything?

  3. If I do have to bite the bullet and apply for a visa in advance, what’s the best way of doing so? I’m currently considering this travel agent but the price is a bit steep (14500 NTD for US) : I’d be open to a day-trip to HK to apply, since it could possibly be cheaper, but I’m worried that it could take longer than 1 day to process.

yea you would have to get an actual visa for it. its better to get it from home(if possible) then you will get a several years visa, americans can even get 10 yrs.

  1. Agree with all.

  2. Hong Kong probably require at least one overnight. Drop off very early first day, pickup after 5pm next day. But possibly delayed so your stuck waiting.

walk into a lion travel or ez travel branch and see if they can do it if you book tix through them

You can get Visa on arrival in xiamen airport. For 3 days.

If you go for getting the visa while in Taiwan, you can get it a bit cheaper–I recently paid 10,500 NTD–through Lion Travel (Getting a Chinese visa: any recommendations?)

I don’t think it’s that easy. Minimumaly need to depart to a third country.

no in the airport have same thing like in Shenzhen normally only nobody uses it.

Visitors from most countries may obtain an entry visa when traveling to and staying solely in the three Special Economic Zones: Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Xiamen. The port visa administration offices in the three zones can issue Special Economic Zone (SEZ) visas.

Visas for Shenzhen are valid for 5 days, and visas for Xiamen and Zhuhai are valid for 3 days. Foreigners holding Special Zone Travel visas are not allowed to go beyond the administrative area of the entry port.

I have used both shenzhen and zhuhai voa, not the Xiamen one yet. But is supposed to be the same thing. It’s still China so many people have no idea about it, and even airline would probably refuse to let you fly. As they have no clue either…

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Hmm, it’s too late for me since I already sent out my passport. However it looks like I should have listened to you earlier! I found this:厦门经济特区外国人“特区旅游签证”管理规定/18580837

It looks like you get a five-day visa-free entry and can also use it to go to Gulangyu, even though it’s technically out of the SEZ.

The only issue is that the Xiamen government site ( appears to be down (at least for me), so I can’t tell if this particular regulation has since been updated.

The third country can be HK or Macau. You can book a flight from Xiamen back to Taiwan on Cathay or HK Airlines and then you would be able to stay in Xiamen for 144 hrs on a transit visa