Business Visa (F)

From January 1st, 2011, all applications for Business (F) or Working (Z) visas to China should be supported by the "Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit" or "Confirmation Letter of Invitation" instead of the "Visa Notification Form". The "Visa Notification Form" will be void by December 31st, 2010. For more details, please contact inviters in China.

The required documentation to support your application differs according to the visa you are seeking. Here we explain some of the requirements though it is not your responsibility to organize all of them, the organisation you will be dealing with will need to arrange the ones special to your visa type, except for tourist visas, of course. Naturally, you should assist where required by providing information. Preparing the documents can take some time, from a couple of weeks to months, as many bureaucratic procedures are involved. It is a good idea, however, to keep checking back with them that they are getting on with it as sometimes matters can slip.

Chinese Business Visa (F)

It is required if you intend to participate for up to 6 months in business activities as an employee of an overseas organisation; investigating & establishing a business activity; lecture, study, or attend training (including internships). In some situations overseas businessmen with a need to travel frequently in and out of China over a longer period may be granted a 12 month visa.

To obtain an F visa you must have an invitation letter from a Chinese organisation that you will be dealing with or a reference letter from your employer explaining the purpose of the visit. The inviter should check that their invitation complies with all regulations.

The business visa (F) has over the years been used as a 'catch all' option. Visa issuing offices seem to have been willing to issue them relatively easily and often for longer durations than a tourist visa. It is not permitted to work as an employee of a Chinese business in China while on an F visa (there are a few exceptions such as working for a company funded from overseas), but many people have done so, often with the full knowledge of local officials, but on the other hand some people have been expelled!


1. Applicant's passport with blank pages and at least 6 months validity left before expiration.

2. One truly completed Visa Application Form. If someone else travelling with you shares the same passport, or if you are appling for a visa in a country or territory other than the country of your current nationality, you should fill out the Supplementary Visa Application Form.

3. One recent passport-size color photo stuck on the application form

4. An "Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit" or "Confirmation Letter of Invitation" prescribing the visa validity, number of entries and stay period.

5. Under some circumstances, the applicants may be required to submit a copy of Chinese hotel reservation, return air ticket booking and financial proof.

How to Apply

You can submit your application to the visa office of Chinese embassies or consulates (e.g. Chinese Embassy in Sydney, Australia) by yourself, or ask someone else (such as your friends, relatives) or entrust a visa agency to do so on your behalf. The power of attorney is not required. No appointment is required.

Processing Time

It regularly takes 4 working days for processing the application. However, the express service and rush service are also available if you want to pick up your visa earlier. Extra US$ 30 for the same-day collection; and additional US$20 for the second or third day collection.

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