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.

China Business Visa

Table of contents

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:

  1. Gather the required documents;
  2. 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.
  3. Submit your application: At your appointment, you will need to submit your application and pay the visa fee;
  4. Wait for processing;
  5. 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:

China visa photo specifications

The photo used to apply for your Chinese visa must fulfill the following requirements:

Here is an example of a Chinese visa photo:

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.

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.
Additional options
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Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

First, take a photo under light like this one:

Photo original source

You will receive two versions of the photo: digital for electronic filing, and a printable template.

Example of a Chinese visa photo
Chinese visa photos for printing

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:

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

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