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How to Apply for a Chinese Business Visa

by admin | January 25th, 2014

If a business trip to China is on your calendar, getting a Chinese visa should be your top priority. Here’s what you need to know before you apply.

As of September 2013, most business travelers to China will need to apply for an “M” visa. (This is a change from previous years, as business trips used to be covered under an “F” visa.) However, you may need to apply for a different category depending on the type of work you do and the details of your trip, so do consult with the appropriate Chinese consulate or with a visa specialist.

For an M visa, you will need the following documents:

  • Your passport. The expiration date must be at least six months away, and you depending on which consulate you’re applying at, you’ll need one to two blank visa pages in the back.
  • A photocopy of the biographical data page of your passport and your passport photo.
  • One completed Chinese visa application form. All questions on the form must be answered. Enter “not applicable” for questions which don’t apply to you, but do not leave them blank.
  • One passport-sized photo of yourself.
  • Copies of all previous Chinese visas along with copies of the data page of the passport which contain them.
  • Photocopies of previous Chinese passports, if you are a former Chinese citizen.
  • An invitation letter or trade fair invitation.

Unless you use an expediting service, you must apply in person at the appropriate embassy or consulate for your home address. There is an embassy in Washington, DC and there are consulates in New York, NY; Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Houston, TX. This map will show you where to apply.

You cannot submit a Chinese visa application directly to the embassy/consulate by mail. However, if you can’t or don’t wish to apply in person, you can apply by mail using a visa expediting service who will go over your itinerary to make sure you’re applying for the right visas, help you gather documents, and double check all of your paperwork to avoid common mistakes that can result in the delay or denial of your Chinese business visa.

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