How to get a business visa (M-visa) for China?

China is a great country with exceptional business potential. Getting into China requires careful planning, analysing country data and compiling of legal documents. All of these may take some time, but the business prospects can be worth the wait and effort.

Physically entering China in order to explore business opportunities requires a business visa. How can you get one? Is it a complicated process? Are there ways to acquire an invitation letter? These are some the first few concerns when travelling for business to China.

How do I get a business visa for China?

Whether it’s travel for negotiations, seeking business partners, checking out a manufacturing facility, meeting market research experts, or for business expansion, one requires a business visa when entering China.

The M Visa is required to enter the country with the intent of establishing business or commercial trade. On September 1, 2013, the M Visa is officially a new business category for foreign businessmen.

Fortunately, acquiring a business visa in China is not very complicated. You can submit your application to the Chinese embassy or pay for the services of a legal agency to do the work on your behalf. The visa fees vary according to your nationality or number of entries you submitted.

Processing time will take up to four regular working days. However, if you intend to hasten the processing in just a day, then you must pay 30 USD; comprising of an additional 20 USD if your aim to wrap up the process in 2-3 days.

Here are the steps to acquiring a business visa for commercial and trade purposes:

  • Present your passport with blank pages for visa stamping. If the passport data page and photo page is separate, then present a copy of the original of both.
  • Fill out a Visa Application form (Form V.2013), and then attach a recent and coloured passport photo against a white background.
  • For non-citizens, proof of legal stay, residence status, employment or student status, or valid certificates needs to be provided by relevant authorities from your home country.
  • Provide a photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas.
  • There is a different visa application process if you are born in the US to Chinese parents. Click here for more information on this particular circumstance.
  • You should bring documents on commercial activities issued by trade partners in China, trade fair invitation or other invitation letters issued by relevant authorities.

How do I acquire an invitation letter from China?

Agencies can process your invitation letter for you; however, the best invitation letters are from your Chinese office or the companies you plan on visiting in the country, such as local distributors or agents.

You should take important notes on the pertinent documents regarding invitation letters and the necessary information that should be included getting these draughted. Invitation letters should include the following information:

  • About the applicant – full name, date of birth, contact details, home address and other pertinent details that could help the Chinese consulate in recognising you.
  • The purpose of your visit and details like the length of your stay in the country.
  • Information on the inviting individual or entity
  • The Visa notification letter may be in the form of fax, photocopy or computer print-out. At times, an applicant may be asked to submit an original invitation, provide other supporting documents, or schedule an interview with the consular officer.

US citizens must also take note that a 10-year multiple entry visas exists due to an agreement between China and the US. Finally, the consular office or embassy will decide whether to approve the visa, the number of days you can stay in China and the number of entries based on individual application.

Alliance experts can help you with doing market research in China, finding the right agent or distributor or helping you to sell your products online.

This entry in Asia was updated on May 20, 2021 by specialist.