No doubt about it, China is a growing hot spot for business travel. But before you go, you need to make sure you have the right documents. In addition to a passport, business travelers will need a visa for a trip to mainland China.
To you navigate the necessary steps, we've put together this overview.
The whole application process may take about a week, and that's not including the time required to hear back on your application.
For an extra fee, you can select same day or rush services. It's good to make sure you're planning in advance for any trip.
Business travelers to China usually obtain an "F"-type visa. F visas are issued to travelers who are visiting China for business reasons, such as lectures, trade shows, short-term studies, internships, or general business, technological, or cultural exchanges.
You'll need to decide what version of the Visa you’re applying for:
Single entry (valid for 3-6 months)
Double entry (valid for 6 months)
Multiple entry (valid for 6 months or 12 months).
The multiple entry F visa is ideal for 24 months, but requires additional documentation
Such as documents proving that that you investments in China
Collaborating with a Chinese company
Complete the Paperwork
Before you start, make sure you have a valid passport with at least six months validity remaining and one blank visa page.
The first step in applying for obtaining a visa for a visit to mainland China is to download the visa application from the Chinese Embassy website. Once you've downloaded it, you'll need to fill it out. Make sure to select the correct type of visa you're applying for. Most business travelers will want to apply for a business visa (choice F). Business Visas (an F Visa) are issue for travelers who will be staying in China less than six months, and are visiting for investigation, lectures, business, short-term advanced studies, internships, or business, scientific-technological, and cultural exchanges.
Also required is one passport photo for the application, and submit a copy of your hotel and flight information as well as a copy. You will also need to include an invitation letter from an authorized Chinese business, or a letter of introduction from your U.S.-based company.
Lastly, include a self-addressed, prepaid envelope so the Chinese Consulate can return the materials to you.
Business travelers going back and forth between China and Hong Kong should be sure to select the "double entry" option on the application.
Application fees can be paid by credit card, money order, cashier's check, or company check.
Visa application fees start at $130 for United States citizens.
Look below for FOR ALL COUNTRIES.
Submitting the Paperwork
Visa applications must be submitted in person. Mailed applications are not accepted.
Once you have assembled visa application (passport photo, copy of hotel and flight information, invitation letter, and self-addressed, prepaid envelope) deliver them to the nearest Chinese Consulate.
If you can't make it to a Chinese Consulate in person, you can hire an authorized agent to do it for you. You can also ask a travel agent for assistance.