China “M” business visas are issued for commercial and trade activities, such as visiting clients, meeting with business partners, and attending trade fairs. These visas are typically valid for 3 months. US citizens may be eligible for a 10-year multiple entry visa. The category “F” business visas are for academic exchange including conducting research, attending conferences, and University collaboration. These are typically valid for 3-6 months with 1-2 entries.
If you’re planning on accepting a position in China, check out our Chinese work visa application.
PassportYou must provide your actual signed passport, including one copy of the personal information page of your passport. Your passport must:
- Be valid for six months beyond the length of your requested visa (for example, if you are requesting a 12 month visa your passport must be valid for 18 months )
- Contain at least two blank visa pages for the visa stamp (amendments and endorsement pages cannot be used to fulfill this requirement)
- If requesting multiple entries, the passport must contain at least two blank facing visa pages, there can be no stamps or amendment endorsement type on the pages
- Not be frayed, torn, separating, or altered in any other way
If your passport does not meet these requirements, please contact China Visa Service Center at 1-800-799-6560 for further details.
The Chinese Consulate requires a photograph that meets very strict requirements. We strongly recommend that you submit your photograph electronically to China Visa Service Center so we can ensure it meets the stringent characteristics mandated by the Chinese Consulate. Follow https://www.mychinavisa.com/photo-service to upload your photo.
All electronic photo submissions must be taken within the last six months against an all-white background. It must show a full frontal view of your head, face centered in the middle, the tops of your shoulders, and display a neutral (non-smiling) expression with eyes open, mouth closed, and ears visible. No background light or shadows are permitted. You may not wear eyeglasses, jewelry, or headwear except for religious purposes. Do not wear a white shirt.
Should you elect to submit an actual photograph then it must meet all of the above criteria and:
- Be exactly 48 mm tall by 33 mm wide
- Be printed on high-quality photo paper
- Not be affixed to your application, with no evidence of adhesive tape or staples
Note that most passport photo vendors produce photos that are 2 inches by 2 inches and are not acceptable. China Visa Service Center cannot submit applications with incorrectly formatted photographs.
Letter of Invitation
You must provide a letter of invitation. Use the included template in this kit as a guide to the content and format of the invitation. All components are of the template are required.
Business Cover LetterYou are required to provide a Business Cover Letter from your U.S.-based company. All letters must be printed on company letterhead that displays a U.S. mailing address. Use the included sample Business Cover Letter to complete your letter.The Business Cover letter will be provided to you. Please refer to the Important Information section above for more details.In addition to the language provided in the sample, your Business Cover Letter must:
- The letter must be addressed to: Embassy of China
Proof of State Residency
You must provide a proof of your current address of residency. The document must either be a copy of the front of your driver's license or government ID, or a utility bill. The document must:
- Display your name as it appears on your passport
- Display the current residence address as provided on your visa application
Please note, if you must submit a utility bill the consulate requires electric, gas, or a water bill; phone and cable bills are not accepted.
If you have secured your own PU it must show the consulate applicable to your jurisdiction. If you are unsure about the PU or need China Visa Service Center to assist in obtaining this requirement please contact China Visa Service Center for further directions.
China Visa Service Center Order Form
Provide the China Visa Service Center Order Form included in this kit.
Visa Application Form
One fully completed and signed visa application form. The application must:
- Be completed online
- Include answers for all required fields (NA where not applicable)
- List the name of the traveler exactly as it is written in the passport
- Be printed single-sided
- Be dated and signed in blue or black ink
- Be enclosed with all other documents in your visa application kit
China Visa Service Center provides a guide to assist you in completing the application. To access the guide follow this link: https://www.mychinavisa.com/forms?formname=China Application Guide.pdf or type the address into your browser.
You must provide a letter of authorization found in this kit, authorizing China Visa Service Center to submit and collect your visa application and documents on your behalf.
Former PRC Nationals or Individuals Born in Chinese Territories
If you are a former PRC passport holder or were born in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macau:
- You must write your name in Chinese characters for question 1.2 on the visa application form
- You must provide a copy of your most recent China visa and a copy of the passport in which the visa was issued
- If you have never been issued a China visa you must submit your original China passport and a copy of your Green Card, and a copy of your Naturalization Certificate
- If you were adopted from China you must also include a copy of your adoption papers showing adoptive parents names, name change, and photo with parents (do not include the original papers). If applicable, include a copy of your naturalization certificate and U.S. birth certificate.
Media Professionals and Religious Professionals
If you are a religious professional, media professional or employed by a media company, even if you are not traveling for business purposes, you must submit both a personal statement and a letter from your employer on company letterhead indicating that you are not traveling on company business and will not be performing any media or religious related work.
If you have been granted a China visa in the past, you must provide a copy of the most recent issued China visa.
China Visa Validity
Applicants will be eligible for a 10-year visa provided that the traveler has at least one year of remaining validity on their U.S. Passport. If you have less than one year you will be granted a six-month visa to China.
China Visa Service Center can help you renew your passport. Call 1-800-799-6560 for more information.
U.S. Embassy Registration (Recommended)The U.S. State Department recommends U.S. citizens register with the U.S. Embassy(s) in the countries they plan to visit. Feel more secure about your international travels by having China Visa Service Center register your trip with the U.S. Department of State. Registration notifies the U.S. Embassy in each country of your travel plans and enrolls you in the State Department travel advisory and warnings program. To enroll in this optional service complete the registration form in this kit and send it to us with the rest of your documents.
U.S. Citizens Born in Certain CountriesU.S. citizens born in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tunisia, Turkey, or Syria who are currently traveling to China with their American passport will need to make a personal appearance in order to apply for a visa to China. China Visa Service Center will be unable to assist you with your visa request.
Proof of VaccineYou may provide your original CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card showing full vaccination status or you may provide a notarized copy of the front and back of the Vaccination card.
You must provide a copy of the travel record form included in this kit. The form must:
- Include all countries that you have visited in the last 28 days
- Be signed
- Include entry/exit dates of each travel
NGO/Non-Profit WorkersIf applying for a business visa, you must provide an employer letter and personal statement. Processing time varies on a case by case basis. If your employer is a NGO or nonprofit your application will require additional review by the China Visa Section.
Applicants with Criminal RecordTravelers with a criminal record will be required to appear in person at the consulate in order to provide biometrics.
Urgent ApplicationsIf you have an urgent visa application that carries a tight deadline, China Visa Service Center can help you to save valuable time and avoid expensive delays. A China Visa Service Center expert will review all of your documents to certify your application is accurate, complete and ready for submission. We will contact you personally to quickly handle any mistakes ensuring your application is submitted correctly. Visit https://www.mychinavisa.com/visa-pre-check-service to learn more about this service.
8 Business Days
Processing time means the time it takes for the Chinese Consulate to process your visa. Please allow extra time for shipping and handling.