Urgent-- latest on rapid China visas in HK/Shenzhen?

I’ve just found out that at the end of the month I have the opportunity to visit old friends in HK and in Guangzhou.

It’s too late to get a China visa in advance, so what’s the easiest way to get one over there?

Is the Shenzhen thing still working (I’m from the UK)? Or would it be safest to get a visa while in HK? I wouldn’t want to get one in HK airport. Rather, I’d be looking at getting one in Central HK and sightseeing with my friend while it was being processed.

Thanks for any advice.

Mods, sorry, I know there are various threads on this already. I want to get the latest info fairly rapidly so maybe you could wait a few days before merging this into one of the other threads kindly linked to by Iris:
[url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/mainland-china-visas/6788/1 China visas[/url]
[url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/hk-to-shenzhen-airport-transfer/16254/1 to Shenzhen airport transfer[/url] (no info on instant visa at the airport there)
[url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/americans-gotten-a-chinese-visa-through-agent-here-recently/18456/1 a Chinese visa through agent here recently?[/url]
[url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/instant-china-visas-obtainable-at-shenzhen-ferry-terminal/18863/1 China visas obtainable at Shenzhen ferry terminal[/url]

As far as I know you can still get a visa* at the border crossing in Lo Wu (羅湖) for 100RMB.

*visa only good for Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, but I’ve flown to Beijing before on one.

A good agency that’s used a lot by users of www.shanghaiexpat.com is the Japan Travel Agency.

Japan Travel Agency, located at Granville Road. It’s HKD $850 for a 1 year visa and you can collect it the next day.

BAH, thanks for the info.

[quote=“BAH”]As far as I know you can still get a visa* at the border crossing in Lo Wu (羅湖) for 100RMB.

*visa only good for Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, but I’ve flown to Beijing before on one.[/quote]Is Guangzhou within the Shenzhen SEZ?
Plasmatron posted before that it is possible to get standard single, dual or multiple entry visas there though.

Still, I’d rather get it sorted out beforehand and same day would be more convenient than next day. Perhaps going to CTS in Kowloon will be OK. It all seems quite straightforward from the info on this site:
chinatravel1.com/english/use … sevisa.htm

I see that the UK is on a list of countries for which different fees/conditions apply, though. Wonder what that involves. If just a little pricier then OK but hope the visa doesn’t take longer too.

Someone I know went that route last month. He was on a SA passport and it was such a pain in the ass for him that it’s probably worth it for him to just spend the big bucks for a multiple entry visa for business (he goes for business usually). UK should be simpler and the US friends I know do that day, day and half thing too but I didn’t want to deal with that for my Beijing trip. The China visa situation is just a freaking annoyance for the infrequent traveller.

[quote=“joesax”]BAH, thanks for the info.

[quote=“BAH”]As far as I know you can still get a visa* at the border crossing in Lo Wu (羅湖) for 100RMB.

*visa only good for Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, but I’ve flown to Beijing before on one.[/quote]Is Guangzhou within the Shenzhen SEZ?
Plasmatron posted before that it is possible to get standard single, dual or multiple entry visas there though.

Still, I’d rather get it sorted out beforehand and same day would be more convenient than next day. Perhaps going to CTS in Kowloon will be OK. It all seems quite straightforward from the info on this site:
chinatravel1.com/English/use … sevisa.htm

I see that the UK is on a list of countries for which different fees/conditions apply, though. Wonder what that involves. If just a little pricier then OK but hope the visa doesn’t take longer too.[/quote]

No it isn’t … and it’s easy to get into Guangdong and to Guangzhou with only this permit … but coming back they might and it’s high possibility they check your passport and visa at the Shenzhen check point, because there they are doing the checking on entry not on leaving the special zone … I had my papers checked a few times but also sometimes not … it’s a gamble … I guess their reasoning is that anyone can leave the special zone but not enter … chinese wise … but while doing that they check everyone …

You can get an urgent visa, single, multiple at the china visa office in about 3 hours time if you arrive and apply before 11:00 AM Mon-Fri but it’s for a cost … last time I’ve paid 420 or 480 HK$ (2 years ago) mutliple 3 month (or was it 6?) visa with a 30 day stay each. I’ve heared that US citizens have it harder to get one … don’t know if it’s true … and don’t state it’s for business, because than you to do the magic trick and come up with invitation letters, just write down it’s for leisure purpose …

Agree with Belgian Pie.

UK citz pay more, Aussies pay HK$150 for a five day visa for the Shenzhen special econ area. However, I’ve been through the checkpoint into Guangdong and never once been checked.

China Travel, hasty visa within 3 hours is doable. I have also heard some Africans in Chungking can get them for you much quicker . . why am I not suprised?

HG

Thanks!

[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]China Travel, hasty visa within 3 hours is doable.[/quote]Do you mean CTS on Hong Kong Island? That’s what I’m tending towards. My current plan is arrive HK Wed night, then on Thursdsay get visa done and have a look round HK island, then on Friday take the direct train Kowloon-Guangzhou. Does that seem do-able?

I’ve heard stories about having to queue for a few hours at Shenzhen so I reckon the direct train would be the best way to go. (Do you know how they handle immigration for that train service?)

Cheers,

Joe

[quote=“joesax”]My current plan is arrive HK Wed night, then on Thursdsay get visa done and have a look round HK island, then on Friday take the direct train Kowloon-Guangzhou. Does that seem do-able?

I’ve heard stories about having to queue for a few hours at Shenzhen so I reckon the direct train would be the best way to go. (Do you know how they handle immigration for that train service?)[/quote]This is exactly what I did.

CTS did my single-entry tourist visa for China in one day, at a cost of 800 HKD. It’s cheaper if you give them more time. There are a number of branches of CTS (2 on Kowloon side, 1 on HK Island side AFAIK) and I guess they can all provide this service. I also bought my HK-GZ and back train tickets from them.

The train tickets are priced at 190 and 230 HKD. Different prices for trains at different times. I picked a 230 dollar one going and a 190 dollar one coming back. CTS did a good deal for me and just charged me 190 for each.

I discovered what the difference between the trains was. It seems to be that the 230 dollar trains are nice double deckers, comfy seats, modern facilities and you can get a decent cup of coffee. This is the kind I had from HK-GZ.

The GZ-HK train was very different and I can only assume that this was related to the 40 dollar price difference. It was a single decker with average seats and minimal facilities. For some reason they kept the toilets locked and I had to request the conductor to unlock one for me, which she did, grudgingly. There were snacks and drinks available from trolleys but not as nice as on the first train. Still, there was a rather elegant restaurant car.

Immigration was very smooth and similar to that in airports though faster. One thing to note as you come back is that you need to fill in a departure form before passing through “exit immigration” in GZ. Of course you also need to do the entry forms both ways.