Magnesium alloys are being used as structural components in industry because of their high strength to weight ratio. But their high electrochemical activity and poor corrosion resistance limited their applications. Therefore, surface modifications are needed for protection purpose. This paper studied the anodic micro-arc oxidation and electroless Ni-P plating surface modifications on AZ80 magnesium alloy. The SEM, XRD and EDS were used to characterize the surface coating. It shows that a micro-porous MgO layer with the pores size 5 – 20 μm was fabricated on the bare magnesium alloy. The nodule Ni-P deposition could be prepared on the out layer of MgO with Ni/P atomic ratio being 1.4. The pores in MgO layer could be sealed by the following Ni-P deposition. Therefore the corrosion resistance of the magnesium alloy could be further improved.