China Business Visa Application
Obtaining a business visa is crucial for anyone seeking to engage in business activities in China. This article will provide an overview of the China business visa application process, including the documents and procedures required for a successful application.
Table of contents
- China visa policy in 2023
- Types of China business visas and which one to apply for
- Differences between a China business visa and a work visa
- China business visa application process
- Documents required for China business visa application
- China visa photo specifications
- Get a China visa photo online!
- Invitation letter requirements
- China business visa fees
- China business visa processing time
- China business visa validity
- How to extend a China business visa, and what are the requirements
China visa policy in 2023
China has recently eased its restrictions on travel, allowing visitors from certain countries to enter for various purposes, including business. This move is seen as a positive step towards boosting the country's economic recovery as China gradually opens its borders to international visitors.
Types of China business visas and which one to apply for
The Chinese business visa is divided into two categories: the M visa and the F visa. The M visa is designed for individuals engaging in commercial and trade activities in China. This includes attending trade fairs, participating in negotiations or signing contracts, and conducting site visits for commercial purposes.
On the other hand, the F visa is intended for individuals visiting China for non-commercial purposes, such as cultural exchanges, education, or scientific research. This includes attending seminars or conferences, conducting research or training, and participating in academic or cultural exchanges. It is important to note that F visas do not permit individuals to engage in commercial activities in China.
Differences between a China business visa and a work visa
Business and work visas are different types of visas designed for distinct purposes. A business visa is intended for individuals engaging in commercial or trade activities in China but not employed by a Chinese company. This includes attending trade fairs, negotiating deals, and conducting site visits. Business visas typically have shorter validity periods than work visas and do not permit individuals to engage in employment activities in China.
In contrast, a work visa is designed for individuals who have secured employment with a Chinese company and are planning to work in China for an extended period. Work visas require a sponsor from a Chinese company and may require additional documentation, such as a work permit or a foreign expert certificate.
China business visa application process
Here are the steps to apply for a business visa to China:
- Gather the required documents;
- Schedule an appointment: You must schedule an appointment with the Chinese embassy or consulate in your area. Some countries also allow visa applications to be submitted online. Check the embassy or consulate's website for specific instructions and requirements.
- Submit your application: At your appointment, you will need to submit your application and pay the visa fee;
- Wait for processing;
- Collect your visa: Once your visa is approved, you can collect your passport with the visa attached from the embassy or consulate.
Documents required for China business visa application
To apply for a business visa, gather the following documents for your application:
- Passport with remaining validity of more than six months with at least two blank visa pages. If you previously had a multi-year multi-entry visa on the old passport, the old passport has to be submitted;
- Visa application photo fulfilling requirements. The exact Chinese visa photo specifications are listed below;
- Photocopy of the biodata page of the passport;
- Visa application form (COVA): You must complete an online visa application form and print it out. You can download the COVA visa form here;
- Financial documents: You may be required to provide evidence of your financial ability to cover your trips, such as bank statements or proof of income;
- Invitation letter from your business travel;
- Previous visa: If you have previously traveled to China, you may need to provide your previous China visa and travel records.
- Signed and filled out a form stating that the applicant is in the jurisdiction they’re applying in;
- Proof of legal residence, if the applicant is a foreigner in the jurisdiction they’re applying in;
- Travel itinerary: You must provide proof of your travel arrangements, such as flight tickets, hotel reservations, and tour itineraries.
China visa photo specifications
The photo used to apply for your Chinese visa must fulfill the following requirements:
- It must be a color picture taken recently within the last 6 months.
- The Chinese visa photo size must be 48mm in height and 33mm in width, with a width of the head of 15mm to 22mm and a height of 20mm to 33mm.
- The applicant has to be easily identifiable from the photo;
- Facial features should be complete and visible, with the head centered in the photo;
- Eyeglasses are allowed except thick-rimmed, tinted, or glare glasses;
- Hat or other head wears are only permitted due to religious reasons, but any facial features should not be obscured;
- There should be no damage or impurities on the photo, no permeation or shadow over the face;
- The photo should be in a natural tone but not over or under-exposed, red-eyed, or distorted;
- The background should be in white or off-white and with no edge frame
- The photo should be printed on glossy finish photo paper, not matte finish paper or plain paper, and should be stainless, scratchless, or without any crease.
Here is an example of a Chinese visa photo:
Get a China visa photo online!
Using Visafoto, an online photo editor that has been adjusting photographs for various documents worldwide since 2013, you can easily make a fully compliant Chinese business visa application photo online. It will make sure your photo fulfills all the requirements needed.
Just take a picture of yourself following the guidelines stated above. Don’t worry about the size, background, positions, and proportions: Visafoto will handle the technicalities.
Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here, and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID.
Visafoto also provides a template ready for printing, so you do not need to worry about formatting your photo for this purpose. With a high-quality color printer and photo paper fitting requirements, you can print a Chinese business visa photo without leaving the comfort of your home.
First, take a photo under light like this one:
You will receive two versions of the photo: digital for electronic filing, and a printable template.
Invitation letter requirements
To apply for a China Business Visa, you must obtain an Invitation Letter from a Chinese company or organization. The specifications for an Invitation Letter for a China Business Visa may vary slightly depending on the embassy or consulate that issues the visa. Still, generally, the letter should include the following information:
- Your personal data: Your full name, gender, date of birth, passport number, and nationality.
- Details of the inviting company or organization: The full name and address of the company or organization inviting you to China, as well as their contact details.
- Purpose of the visit: The reason for your trip to China, such as attending a conference, meeting, or conducting business negotiations.
- Details of the visit: The planned dates of your visit to China, the places you will visit, and the duration of your stay.
- Your professional relationship with the inviting company or organization.
- Financial support: The inviting company or organization should also state that they will provide financial support for your visit to China, including accommodation, transportation, and other expenses.
- Signature and stamp: The Invitation Letter should be signed by an authorized representative of the inviting company or organization and stamped with their official seal.
China business visa fees
Chinese tourist visa costs may vary based on the citizenship of the applicant and the jurisdiction they apply in, the type of visa (single-entry or multiple-entry), and the validity period/stay period. For example, the visa fee in the US starts from $30 for single-entry visa applications made by non-US citizens to $140 for US citizens, not counting special reciprocal fees between countries.
China business visa processing time
Given that all the requirements are fulfilled and submitted correctly, it usually takes four business days for Chinese business visa applications to be processed. However, this may vary depending on the embassy or consulate's workload and the number of visa applications they receive.
China business visa validity
The validity of an M visa to China varies depending on the embassy or consulate that issues the visa and your nationality. In most cases, a China business visa can be granted for up to 12 months with one or multiple entries, depending on the applicant's circumstances and the discretion of the issuing embassy or consulate.
Each entry permits a stay of up to 30, 60, or 90 days, depending on the visa type and purpose of the visit.
How to extend a China business visa, and what are the requirements
To extend your visa, submit your application at least seven days before your visa expires to the PSB Exit and Entry Administration office.
You would need to provide your passport, a current visa application photograph, a temporary residence registration form, and evidence justifying the need to renew or extending your China visa