The Special Administrative Region of Macao is just a short drive, or ferry ride, away from both Mainland China and Hong Kong. As a Special Administrative Region, the tourism and visa policies of Macao differs from Mainland China and Hong Kong. While most foreign visitors to Macao do not require a visa, there are some exceptions and if you're pairing your trip with a visit to a Chinese city or to Hong Kong, you may need a visa. Find out which countries are exempt and what is required to obtain a visa.
Visa Exempt Nations
The length of time that a travel can spend in Macao visa-free ranges from seven days to one year. All a person from a visa exempt country needs to enter Macao is a passport valid for at least one month, evidence of return transportation, and adequate funds. Citizens of Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, Monaco, Namibia, the Philippines, Russia, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the United States can stay for up to 30 days visa-free.
Citizens of the European Union, Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cape Verde, Dominica, Egypt, Grenada, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, South Korea, Switzerland, Tanzania, and Uruguay can stay for up to 90 days. Citizens of the United Kingdom, or with any class of British nationality can stay for as long as 6 months.
If you intend to stay longer than the visa-free period, you will need to obtain an extension from the Macao Immigration Department. You also will need a visa if you plan to work or study in Macao.
Chinese Nationals Visiting Macao
The regulations for citizens of Hong Kong and Mainland China are quite different. Mainland Chinese visitors require a two-way permit to visit. This permit allows Chinese nationals living in Mainland China to travel to and from Hong Kong or Macao. It is valid for 10 years and is necessary to stay in Macao. The maximum stay length for a resident of Mainland China is 90 days. If a Chinese national living in Mainland China is only transiting through Macao or Hong Kong, the two-permit is not necessary and a passport or travel document can be used as identification.
Residents of Hong Kong visiting Macao can use a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card, a Hong Kong Re-entry Permit, or document of identity to gain entry to the region. If using a permanent identity card or re-entry permit, Hong Kongers can stay in Macao for up to a year. If using a document of identity, the maximum duration of stay is cut to 30 days. For transit through the region, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport is required.
Traveling to China From Macao
If you are combining your Macao trip with one in Mainland China, you will need to have a Chinese visa prior to leaving your home. There are a variety of different visas available depending on the purpose of your trip so be sure to check the Chinese Embassy's website closely as the requirements change between visa types. While you could apply for a single or double entry visa, if you plan to travel to China frequently, or if you want to take several weekend trips during your stay in China, a multiple entry visa is the way to go.
Valid for 3 months, 6 months, a year, 2 years, 5 years, or 10 years, holders of a multiple entry visa can enter Mainland China as many times as they please as long as the visa is valid. The application requirements are the same as a regular short-term visa but it's recommended that you make a statement on your application that explains your willingness to visit China frequently. The application fee for U.S. and Canadian citizens is $140 and $80 respectively. The fee for all other citizens is $60 for a 6-month multiple entry visa and $90 for a 12-month or longer visa. The application fee is same for U.S. and Canadian citizen whether applying for a single entry visa or a 10-year multiple entry visa. The cost changes for citizens of other countries.
In addition to a visa valid for the entire duration of your trip, you will need a passport valid for 6 months and have two blank passport pages.