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How to Get a China Business Visa (M-Visa)?

China Business Visa

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Key Takeaways

1. If travelling to China on business, or arranging for an employee to do so, it is crucial that the correct visa is acquired. 

2. The ‘M Visa’ is the China business visa. It can be granted for varying periods and for single entry or multiple entries. 

3. When applying for an M Visa, ensure that you submit all the required documents together. 

4. Consider engaging a global mobility partner to ensure that you and your employees enter China on the right visa. 

How to get a China Business Visa

The China Business Visa (M Visa) is issued to applicants who intend to come to China for commercial and trade activities purposes.

A China Business Visa can be granted for 30, 40, 60, 90, 180 days, or 1 to 10 years (in some cases, Business visas can be granted for more than 1 year and up to 10 years). It can also grant a single entry, a double entry, or multiple entries.

Important notice: To work in China a Z Visa (China Work Visa) will be required.

China Business Visa China Business Visa

Required Documents

Generally, the following documents are required to be produced:

  • Application Form V.2013
  • Flight Tickets (at least one way)
  • Proof of Accommodation (hotel booking, an invitation letter from a relative…)
  • Proof of Financial Resources
  • Invitation Letter from the inviting company located in mainland China
  • Business License of the inviting company
  • (Mission Statement from a company located abroad and willing to send their employee to China)

Invitation Letter

As one of the required documents for a China Business Visa application, the Invitation Letter shall follow some rules and state the following required information:

Information related to the applicant

  • Full name
  • Passport number
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth

Information related to the inviting company

  • The relationship between the applicant and the inviting company located in China

Information about the trip planned in China

  • The purpose and the planning of the visit to China (visited cities, flight/plane tickets…)

Information related to the Business Visa application

  • Requested Visa, here a “China Business Visa”
  • The number of entries + duration of each stay in China

Also, the Invitation Letter needs to be stamped by the inviting company chop.

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Exceptions per countries

Some countries have special agreements with China that allow their citizens to benefit from specific visas.

  • United States: up to 10 years Business Visa
  • Canada: up to 9 years Business Visa
  • Argentina: up to 10 years Business Visa
  • Israel: up to 10 years Business Visa
  • United Kingdom: up to 2 years Business Visa

Other exceptions:

  • Foreigners who already obtained a Business Visa in the past are also entitled to ask for a 1-year Business Visa.
  • Foreigners living in hong kong, and having an HKID Card: 1-year China Business Visa
  • APAC citizens holders of the ABTC (APEC Business Travel Card) containing “CHN” on the back: up to 60 days for Business Trips without needing any Visa
  • Holders of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao passports: special Travel Permit valid for up to 10 years
  • Foreigners going from Hong Kong to Shenzhen (and staying in Shenzhen) for a Business Trip can enjoy a 5-day Visa when they arrive; the same for Foreigners going from Macao to Zhuhai (and staying in Zhuhai) for a Business Trip can enjoy a 3-days Visa when they arrive.

Application from Hong Kong

Except if the applicant holds an HKID Card, it is almost not possible anymore to apply in person for a Chinese Visa in Hong Kong. However, a lot of agencies provide a Chinese Visa application service.

Through an agency, it is generally possible to obtain a Business Visa for 30 days in Hong Kong. Sometimes, it requires that the holder of such a visa activate it at the Shenzhen border between mainland China and Hong Kong.

Extending a China Business Visa

It is possible in some circumstances to extend your M visa if you ask for an extension at least seven days before the original expiration date. This may be a good option for you if the permitted duration is inadequate to cover your trip. You must go to the local exit and entry administration to apply for this extension. You will also have to pay an additional fee for an extension.

Can I work with a China Business Visa?

If you work for a foreign company and are paid by this company, you can work in China for up to three months. 

However, if you are paid by a domestic company or you will be working in China for a foreign company for more than three months, you will need to apply for a China Z visa

Our local experts can assist you with the immigration process. 

Frequently asked questions

It depends on where the applicant is applying from (i.e., where is the embassy located?).

Usually the processing time is about 4 working days. A Same day pickup may be available, but as an express service will carry an additional charge.

Previously, the F visa was a broad class of visa that covered non-commercial activities as well as business activities. Now business activities require an M visa and the F visa is only allowed for non-commercial visits to China.

Horizons Business Visa and Immigration Solutions

It is important that when carrying out business in China you arrive on the correct visa.

Horizons can organize visas for you and ensure that your arrival is in full compliance with visa and immigration requirements. 

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