Landing Visa of Shenzhen and Shantou
Q: I'm going to Shenzhen with my family which is 7 of us probably middle of October 2010. Can we apply 5 days Landing visa at Luohu station if we go from Hong kong ? Scond of all, can this visa going to Shantou (Cao-Zhou) for few days ? Because Luo Hu and Senzhen under same province, so I think probably is ok. We are Chinese from Indonesia (holding Indonesia Passport).
My other question is: if we joing Tour from Hong Kong to Chao Zhou, is that ok no need apply China Visa ? Because I saw it mentioned at China Embassy website of Singapore.
A: Generally visitors can obtain a 5-day Shenzhen visa at the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border. It is known, however, citizens of the United States cannot do this because of its own visa requirements with regard to Chinese citizens. The 5-day visa is good for Shenzhen only. With this visa you should not travel beyond Shenzhen.
As noted, the 5-day Shenzhen visa is good for Shenzhen only. It does not apply to Shantou, even though the two cities are in the same province.
Shantou does have a special treatment, but it is a policy different for the landing visa for Shenzhen. In this case, if you travel in a tour group organized by a travel agency in Hong Kong, you can visit Shantou without visa; the entering and departing will be arranged by the travel agency for you. With an arrangement like this, one can stay in Shantou for up to 6 days (144 hours). You do need to enter and leave with the tour group, unless special arrangement is made by the travel agency for you. Also, you must land in Shantou, at the border check point there as Shantou does not border with any cities in Guangdong that receive the same special treatment. This tour-group-organized-by-Hong-Kong-travel-agency policy applies to 10 cities in Guangdong Province - Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing, and Huizhou.
Yet another kind of special visa policy is landing visa for emergency situations. With proper documentation, this visa can be obtained at many entering points. This basically refers to situations in which someone does not have enough time to secure a visa. For example, someone who's on an urgent business mission or someone who is visiting a relative in a medical emergency. In such cases, one should bring necessary papers to be used to apply for visa upon landing - invitation letters of Chinese companies, documents with regard to the medical emergency, etc.
For Shanghai, there is also a special treatment for those who transit through the city. Citizens of certain countries can stay in the city for up to 24 hours without visa if they're simply making stopover before they fly to some other country.
Additionally, some countries won't allow their citizens to get out of their own country to go abroad without first obtaining visa from the foreign country that is their destination.
So there a number of things you can do: Apply for your China visa in your own country. Apply for your China visa in Hong Kong; it takes a couple of days. Apply for your Shenzhen visa at the border - but then what about Shantou. If you have enough time, why don't you apply for your standard visa in advance, in your own country or in Hong Kong, to avoid having to figure out Shenzhen, Shantou, etc., and also avoiding leaving it to the last minutes at the border.