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.