If you scroll down to paragraph 2, it appears to read that if you join a licensed tour group in Hong Kong, and your country has diplomatic relations with China, which the USA does, you can enter THAT part of China WITH the tour group, including Shenzhen, WITHOUT a visa and stay for up to 6 days.
Am I missing something? I appreciate your help...would like to go to Shenzhen, and if I can avoid a trip to the Chinese Consulate in SF and the $140 visa fee that would be nice. Thanks again.
I think you are correct (from my reading) - we went into St. Petersburg off a cruise ship, for two days, under similar circumstances - you did not need a Russian visa as long as you were on a tour with a licensed tour guide (we had hired a private, licensed, guide prior to leaving the U.S.).
Thanks. I am also familiar with the St. Petersburg exemption. I am continuing to read and it appears that there is something that the Hong Kong tour group gives you called a China Group Visa. I am trying to find a licensed your giude now in Hong Kong via the internet that might be able to help.
Other than the visa issue, why would anyone want to be part of a tour group?
I normally don't like tour groups and almost never do them. Without explaining my rationale in this case, which is no one's business, I am making a rare exception here. Enough said? Besides, my parents are in their 80"s and many people for a variety of reasons including health, safety and age choose to be a part of a tour group. Everyone does not travel the same way you might travel.
As a US passport holder, normally as an independent traveler, you are not eligible for the Shenzhen special visa-on-arrival at the border, which is time- and geography-limited. However, as part of a group tour organized by an approved Hong Kong agent, I believe you would be eligible. Which would get you off the hook for forking over for that expensive Chinese visa.
Moreover, I believe that with the group tour arrangement, geographic coverage is wider than just the Shenzhen Zone to which the VOA ("border pass") applies. I think these tours are allowed to traverse most of the Pearl River Basin, including Guangzhou, Dongguan, Foshan, possibly even Zhuhai. If you cannot find a travel agent easily by internet search, try finding agents to contact via the Hong Kong Tourism Bureau. You also might post a specific question about sourcing such agents on the Hong Kong forum.
Does anyone have any experience with this Pearl River Delta visa waiver? Many years ago, I took a tour of the Delta from HKG organized by the Chinese travel service. I'm guessing that's what they have in mind. But could I get a local travel agent to "authorize" an independent tour of the region? I'd have my family with me, so the 3-person rule wouldn't be a problem.