Asked by Matt from United Kingdom | Jan. 01, 2020 07:04
About:China Visa on Arrival

VOA Hainan


I am a Brit living in Beijing and have family visiting in the summer. If they flew into Hainan and applied for the VOA and then we travelled up to Beijing would it be ok if their itinerary showed a mix of hotel bookings and staying with my at my home, or does the VOA only work of they can show hotel bookings for the complete trip? Is it 30 or 15 days?



Answers (2)
Answered by ZUPAN | Jan. 01, 2020 11:27
Part one:

Matt, Hainan VOA allows 30 days stay within China in total, but only 15 days are allowed to be spent outside of Hainan. In other words, your family members have to arrive first in Hainan and please, keep in mind that they cannot arrive to Hainan taking a direct flight from mainland China. Their immediate airport before Hainan has to be in the country different than mainland China. Hong Kong is allowed too. In reality, it is highly recommended.

Their departure from Hainan can be by direct flight to Beijing and they can stay with you in Beijing for the above mentioned 15 days. After that, they can take a flight from Beijing back home to Europe. To be clear, they don't need to spend 15 days in Hainan to be allowed to travel to Beijing or some other part of mainland China, but they can do this after just a day they have spent in Hainan.

Here one extremely important detail. Since some time, I would say roughly a year and a half ago, Chinese authorities have started to downplay the significance of all VOAs. They have practically revoked Xiamen VOA and seriously limited Shenzhen VOA by diminishing the number of eligible citizenship and also by diminishing the number of border crossings where a visitor can obtain a VOA. Zhuhai VOA is similar to a Shenzhen VOA in the sense of diminishing the eligible citizenship. Also, they have seriously downplayed Hainan VOA in favor of Hainan 30 day visa free access that has to be applied through an agency. Also, this option doesn't allow you to travel to other parts of mainland China after the stay in Hainan.
Answered by ZUPAN | Jan. 01, 2020 11:28
Part two:

The result of this policy has reflected negatively on the airport staff on different airports from where they handle direct flights to Hainan. The members of the airport staff have become very reluctant to allow the boarding of those travelers that declare that they will travel to Hainan where they will apply for Hainan VOA. Just a few months ago, we had an example by a group of UK citizens who were denied boarding in Singapore. The members of the airport staff simply told them that they would be allowed to board the plane if they were flying on 30 day visa free access.

In reality, at the time being, the only confident in their trust for Hainan VOA are members of the airport staff at Hong Kong airport and it is known that by far the largest percentage of those traveling to Hainan with intention to rely on Hainan VOA travel through Hong Kong. It is quite possible that the airport staff in UK is also well informed and allow people traveling on direct flight to Hainan with intention to rely on Hainan VOA, but this is something I cannot really confirm. I can confirm this only for Hong Kong airport staff. So, I suggest you that some of your family members visit an airport and ask the check-in staff if they are allowing the boarding to those who intend to obtain Hainan VOA. Please, you or they should definitely check this detail. Better safe than sorry.

By the way, as far as the combination of accommodation is concerned, this is perfectly fine. This combination that you have mentioned is perfectly allowed, but keep in mind that they will have to register at the relevant police station 24 hours from their arrival in Beijing. You should accompany them and help them to make a registration. Please, think about all the mentioned detail and try to construct the best itinerary to be certain that everything is smooth for your family members.
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