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Can I get a 5-day visa ("Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Tourism Visa") when entering Shenzhen through the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link from Hong Kong (West Kowloon, connection opened for public on Sunday 23 September 2018)? I am a French citizen if that matters.

  • Back in October there were no facilities to apply for a visa, and people who wanted "visa-on-arrival" were directed to the actual border crossing. No idea whether this changed. It also doesn't seem to make much sense practically, an hour you'd save on a border crossing you'd spend going through formalities on a train (and risk missing one, since visa-on-arrival sometime takes longer). – George Y. Dec 29 '18 at 19:07
  • Note that it is also not worth the trouble to take the high-speed train if you're only travelling to Shenzhen. You almost don't save any time and spend much more money. – xuq01 Jan 6 at 3:36
  • @xuq01 Hong Kong (West Kowloon/International) to Shenzhen-Futian via Express Rail Link takes 14 minutes and 80 HKD (from what I read, I couldn't try due to visa...), vs. ~50 or 60 HKD and ~1 hour if taking the MTR in HK + cab or subway in Shenzhen (I tried that). Also you may avoid the long taxi queue (> 30 minutes) at Luohu station. Not bad. One downside is I assume the Express Rail Link is less frequent than the MTR. – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 6 at 4:25
  • @FranckDernoncourt Well, the East Rail Line actually runs to Futian Checkpoint too. Not exactly the same location, but it's in the same area. Although Futian Checkpoint doesn't provide visas either. – xuq01 Jan 6 at 4:56
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It is currently not possible to get a 5-day visa when entering Shenzhen through the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link from Hong Kong. The Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link doesn't stop at any station that delivers such visa. Instead, the Chinese immigration checkpoint is located at West Kowloon, and one must go through it before taking the train to China.

Photo of the China Immigration Inspection e-channels at HK West Kowloon Station:

enter image description here

(image source; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Author: N509FZ)


Some references:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-china-rail/unscheduled-departure-chinas-legal-reach-extends-to-hong-kong-rail-station-idUSKCN1LK0J4 (mirror):

Mainland authorities will conduct customs, immigration and quarantine duties in part of the [West Kowloon] station, while mainland Public Security Bureau officers would be responsible for “managing public order”.

https://www.ausbt.com.au/how-to-get-from-hong-kong-to-shenzhen-guangzhou-via-high-speed-rail (mirror):

Note that if you don't hold a Chinese visa, there is no facility to obtain the special short-term 'Shenzhen visa' at Futian – you must have a Chinese visa before you board the train at West Kowloon station (indeed, you'll need it to pas through the station's Chinese immigration checkpoint).

This is different to the system in operation at the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border crossing of Lo Wu, where many travellers from Hong Kong step off the East Rail Line and take out a single-visit Shenzhen visa on arrival – so if you want to visit Shenzhen but don't have a Chinese visa in hand, you'll need to take the slow train.

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