If your family or friends coming from out of China want to visit you, an invitation letter is required to apply for a tourist visa at their local Chinese consulate.  

What is Visa Invitation Letter?

A visa invitation letter is a letter that a person who plans to visit someone currently residing in China must present along with other supporting documents in order to apply for their tourist visa. This letter must be written by the host in China. Do note that the invitation letter is different from an invitation to a social event in China because it contains immigration details that are not required in the social invitation letter. 


Photo credit: vistforchina.org

Sample of a Visa Invitation Letter Important Data

All visa invitation letters for must contain a certain amount of basic information. As the host (the person inviting and receiving guest), your responsibility is to ensure that this these basic information about your guest and their trip is included in the letter. Below is a list of the information that should include in any letter; although most visa officers or consulars would not require every single detail on this list to be added to the letter, I suggest you include them all so that your guest may apply for their visa worry-free.

 Information about the guest:

  • Complete name – First Name and Last Name (Surname) as shown on their International Passport. Use ALL CAPS for the surname if you can. This helps to easily identify which of the names is the surname;

  • Date of birth (This further identifies your guest);

  • The person’s address and telephone number;

  • Your relationship to the person being invited;

  • The purpose of the trip (friendly visit, holiday, wedding, birthday party...) There is also another type of invitation letter that one can use for business trips to China (conferences, seminars, trade shows). Here is some additional information on how to write an invitation letter to apply for business visa.

  • How long the person you are inviting intends to stay in the country (Use exact dates e.g from June 30th, 2018 to July 30th, 2018)

  • Details on their accommodation and living expenses (Your home, a hotel, etc)


Photo credit: visitforchina.org

 Information about the host:

  • Complete name ( As shown on your immigration documents);

  • Date of birth (this is not required because it is on your document that will be attached. I usually include all these as a list at the end of the letter);

  • Address and telephone number (Where you live/where your guest will staying);

  • Occupation;

  • Your status in the host country (If you are on a work visa, student visa, permanent resident, a citizen or any other legal status);

Once you have all this information handy, all you need to do is compile it into a letter. The way the letter is formulated is not very important, however it must reflect the fact that you are able to communicate effectively

The letter should be written in the official language of the country that will be issuing the visa - in our case, in Chinese.


Photo credit: visitforchina.org

Who should I address the invitation letter?

Visa invitation letters can be addressed to either the guest (the person you are inviting) or the Consular Office, Embassy or Visa Application Center. In most cases, the letter will be given to the guest to attach to their application for their tourist visa. This means that whether you address the letter to your Guest or the Embassy, you will still need to send the letter to your guest.


Photo credit: visitforchina.org


Photo credit: visitforchina.org

Other information to enclose

I advise the person sending the invitation letter to provide a copy of the photo and main information page from his or her passport. The person sending the invitation letter should also provide a copy of their residence permit which grants them permission to reside in China. This can be found in your passport.

How does the guest get a visa?

A visa is required to enter the People's Republic of China. Visas can be obtained in person at the Chinese Embassy or Consulate-General near where your guest lives in invitee's area. If visiting the Chinese Embassy or Consulate is not convenient or possible for you, travel and visa agencies also handle the visa process for a fee.

The passport has to be in the hands of the Chinese authorities for a period of time so that they can approve your visa application and attach the visa documentation to your passport. The visa is in the form of a sticker that is roughly equal to the size of one passport page. The authorities place it in the passport and it can't be removed.


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