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Visa & Customs

Visa & Customs

Introduction & Highlights

Chinese Visa

To visit China, you need to be in possession of a valid passport and visa. You will not be allowed to enter the country without them, you could be fined, and you will be returned to your home country at your own expense.

In fact, without the relevant documents, your airline is unlikely to allow you to board.

You should also note that obtaining a visa outside your country of residence can be much more difficult.

Chinese Embassies and Consulates have different application rules for respective nationalities, so you need to check the processes and procedures where you live.

Most offices processing visas require applicants to appear in person or to have their application submitted through a registered agency.

The application process can take from a few days to several weeks, so you should get the process started as soon as possible, to ensure that you don’t experience any delays to your travel plans.

Here are some recommendations:

  • The best time to apply for your Chinese visa is 1-2 months before you travel date
  • Make contact with the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country to enquire about the application process
  • Check which visa best suits your purposes, as there are different ones available for travel, business, study, work and so on
  • Keep in mind that if you leave mainland China and go to Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan, you will need to have a multiple-entry or new visa to re-enter the mainland

Hainan 30-Day Visa-Free Access

Since 1 May 2018, Hainan Province has implemented a visa-free entry policy for visitors from 59 countries.

Individuals in possession of a passport from these countries are entitled to enter the Province through its open ports, followed by a stay of up to 30 days within the administrative regions of Hainan.

The 59 countries eligible for visa-free entry are as follows: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ukraine.

Arrival at Haikou Meilan International Airport, Sanya Phoenix International Airport and all ship ports qualify for entry under the 30-day visa exemption policy.

Visa-free entry is provided on the condition that visitors book their tour through Hainan-based travel agencies and register with them before arrival, at least 48 hours ahead. You must submit their passport information, round-trip tickets, hotel bookings and Hainan travel itinerary.

The Hainan travel agency must submit the information to the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of Hainan 24 hours before the arrival of the visitor in Hainan.

Visitors from Singapore, Japan, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina who hold a passport do not need to submit any information before entering China (including Hainan) for a set period of time.

Citizens of Singapore, Japan, and Brunei can stay for up to 15 days, while citizens of the United Arab Emirates and Serbia have up to 30 days.

Visitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina may enter China (including Hainan) an unlimited number of times during a 180-day period but can only stay in China for up to 90 days in total during that period.

Citizens of the previously mentioned six countries, entering China under the 59-country visa-free entry policy must abide by the requirements of this policy.

Overseas visitors must complete registration formalities with their passports at hotels. Those staying in other accommodation also must be registered by the provider with 24 hours of arrival. Failure to register can result in a fine.

All visitors must not engage in activities that conflict with the purpose of their stay and must leave before the expiry of their permitted duration of stay. Failure to do this can result in a fine and detention.

Travelling to mainland China from Hainan is not possible without an appropriate visa. Those wishing to visit mainland China, or extend their stay in Hainan, can ask their travel agency to help them apply for a regular Chinese visa from the Exit and Entry Administration of the local Public Security Bureau.


Haikou Customs of the People's Republic of China, formerly known as Qiongzhou Customs, was established in 1876.

It is the import and export supervision and administration body directly under the General Administration of Customs, and its jurisdiction covers 19 cities and counties in Hainan Province.

Haikou customs has 19 internal departments, 7 first-class open ports (5 seaports and 2 airport ports) and 3 second-class ports under its jurisdiction.

It has various supervision and operation focuses such as freight, passenger inspection, postal inspection, port and duty-free shops on outlying islands.


To make the most of your trip to Hainan, and to avoid any unnecessary travel delays or inconveniences, you should plan ahead as much as possible.

Contact the nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate to you, to get information and advice about applying for a visa, sooner rather than later.

Make sure you understand the details of the 30-day visa-free policy and whether it applies to you.

When planning your visit and arriving in Hainan, also ensure all the required registrations and paperwork is completed.

With all the formalities completed, you’ll enjoy piece of mind and your time in Hainan!