Business visa to China – invitation letter

Citizens of certain countries must obtain a visa to travel to China. To get a business visa to China (M type), you must submit an application along with a set of documents. One of the required documents is an invitation letter from a trade show’s organizers or your Chinese business partner (in mainland China). What information must be included in the invitation letter for a business visa to China?

Business visa to China – invitation letter

Why do you need a business visa to China?

A business visa to China allows you to:

  • attend and exhibit at trade fairs
  • visit factories
  • go on a business trip for business meetings, negotiations
  • conduct other commercial and trade activities.

The M visa can be single, double, or multiple-entry into the PRC. Usually, you can stay in China for a maximum of 90 days on this visa. It has various validity periods: 3, 6, or 12 months.

For your business visa application, you must provide:

  1. passport valid for at least the next 6 months with two blank visa pages
  2. photocopy of the information page and extension page (if applicable) of the passport
  3. a complete visa application and two recently taken color passport photos
  4. an invitation letter
  5. other documents may be required.

Invitation Letter to China

You can either submit a PU letter (a pre-approval document issued by a Chinese Government agency) or an invitation letter from a Chinese institution/company. The invitation letter for a business visa to China must fulfill the requirements below:

  • the invitation letter must be written in Chinese or English 
  • the addressee of the invitation letter must be a specific consulate of the People’s Republic of China
  • in some cases, a good quality scanned/fax copy is not enough; an original physical copy (using the official letterhead of the inviting company) may be required.

The inviting party must include in the letter:

  • the name and address of the Chinese company
  • telephone number and e-mail address
  • official seal of the Chinese company
  • signature of the legal representative or individual.

Applicant and travel information in the invitation letter

The invitation letter for a Chinese business visa must contain the following information about the invitee:

  • personal information (in capital letters)
  • name(s) and surname(s) (as in the passport)
  • gender, date of birth, nationality
  • passport number and passport expiration date
  • contact number, e-mail address
  • travel information
  • purpose of the visit (detailed description)
  • arrival and departure dates
  • length of stay in China in days and places of stay
  • which party bears the travel costs (invitee/inviting party/other)
  • Visa type: single/multiple-entry with the information “kindly issue a visa (…) for (x) months of validity, up to (x) days of stay each, single/double/multiple-entry.”
Invitation letter to China type M
Sample invitation letter for Chinese Business Visa, source: Embassy

Where can I apply for a Chinese Visa?

You can apply for a visa to China through the China Visa Application Center online. Note that in most cases, the applicant must appear in person. The visa to China is issued by your local PRC consulate. 

How long does it take to get a Chinese Business Visa? 

Although it depends on your local visa application center, in most cases, to get a Chinese visa, it takes:

  • 4 business days (regular service)
  • 3 business days (express service)
  • 2 business days (urgent service).

Traveling to Hong Kong from mainland China

If you plan to travel to Hong Kong from China and back to China (China-Hong Kong-China route), you must apply for a double-entry visa. The same should be done when traveling from China to Macao/Taiwan and back to China.

The consular officer will decide whether to issue the visa and on its validity, duration of stay, and number of entries in light of specific conditions of the applicant.

See how to prepare for your trip to China.