Be aware that China does change the rules on this without much notice (eg during the 2008 Olympics this was unavailable). It might be withdrawn again through the World University Video Games (12-23 August). After getting information, I understood that visa on appearance short-term unavailable during Asian Video games until this month (even though the function itself finish up in end of Nov 2010 or early Dec 2010).
Just had reason to look this up last week for Shenzhen. USA, France, India, Philippines passport holders cannot get Shenzhen Zone special VOA at all. Same applies for Zhuhai permit for US and French no VOA possible, but not sure about India and Phils there. Wouldn’t be surprised if Shenzhen VOA’s for everybody else temporarily suspended according to #2, #3.
For the 5-day Shenzhen visa, you don’t need to take a photo with you to the border visa office. It is taken at the visa office at no additional cost to the visa fee. I am a Filipino and you will be going to HK soon. I would have wanted to get a Shenzhen at the HK border but saw in a few websites of a fresh legislation for Filipino passport holders to get their visas in their country of origin. However, in your list, Philippines is not included. Are you sure about this? thanks.
I have already started looking into costs of flights accommodation and reserved and booked certain parts of this trip. Me too with the Asian video games. Theoretically same price as a China visa and one can’t really go very significantly legally. Remember that the Lok Ma Chau boundary (the main one connected by MTR) has no Shenzhen visa service. You can only just obtain a Shenzhen visa at Lowu Huanggang or boundary.
The problem with the Shenzhen visa is based on the actual fact that the Chinese government loves to switch the guidelines around which nationalities meet the criteria for the visa, although they are, in fairness, tit-for-tat changes usually. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also helpfully highlights that ‘the list is at the mercy of change without prior notice’.
Read more at shenzhenbusinessguide.com