Business Visa in China

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On the 8th of January China’s National Immigration Administration (NIA) declared that a plan has been established to re-issue visas to foreign travelers who wish to enter the country. This announcement is part of the country’s initiative to reopen the economy after years of COVID-19 restrictions and is welcomed by the global business community. If you are planning to apply for a Chinese Business Visa, here we explore the visa policies, requirements and more.

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Updated Visa Policy

In line with the relaxation of the zero-COVID policy, China has subsequently dropped its restrictions on international travel and has resumed issuing visas to foreign nationals.

The resumption of visa issuance is currently only for certain types of visas, including the business (M) visa. However, visas for other purposes, such as tourism and medical treatment, are still not available.

Foreign travelers are advised to enquire and confirm with their local Chinese embassies which visas they can apply for and what procedure needs to be followed, prior to booking tickets and confirming travel plans. Additionally, inbound travelers are also no longer required to go through centralized quarantine.

Application Process

An M Visa is required for foreigners who need to go to China for business, commercial, and trade activities. To apply for an M visa, follow the steps below:

1. Fill out the visa application form

  • Download the form here:
  • Make sure to print your visa application and reservation forms before submitting your application. You will need this when you go to your appointment at the Chinese Embassy.

2. Visa applications must be submitted in person

  • Fingerprints will also be collected in the process.
  • The following individuals are exempted from fingerprint collection:
  1. Children under 14 years old.
  2. Adults over 70 years old.
  3. Diplomatic officials, diplomatic passport holders, and courtesy visa applicants.
  4. Applicants who already have their fingerprints collected by the Chinese Embassy, Consulates, or the Chinese Visa Application Service Centers within 5 years after their last visit to the country.
  5. Applicants whose fingerprints are unreadable or cannot be collected due to certain circumstances.


Applicants should use the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) website and fill out the application form and should select the visa center that is nearest to their country.

PCR Requirements for China

Before entering China, foreign travelers are required to undergo PCR testing within 48 hours prior to their departure from the country they wish to departure from. They can only board the plane if a negative test result is presented.

*Note: As of 1 March 2023, applicants from several countries will no longer have to have to do a test prior to boarding an airline.  This includes:

  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Hungary
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand

While this list is limited to only the aforementioned countries, more countries are expected to make announcements on this soon.

Application Requirements for a Business Visa in China

One of the foremost requirements for an M Visa is the invitation letter issued by a trade partner residing in China. Other documents required in the application process for requesting an M visa include:

  • An online visa application form and in-person appointment.
  • Passport with at least six months validity and at least one blank page

(The copy of the old passport needs to be submitted as well if it includes a multi-year multi-entry Chinese visa.)

  • Proof of residence such as IDs, utility bills, or bank notice.
  • Photocopies of the ID page of the passport.
  • Photocopies of previous passports that have approved Chinese visas (if applicable), as well as previous Chinese visas or Chinese resident permit.
  • Invitation letter from the Chinese entity which includes the applicant’s details, the purpose of the visit, dates, and locations, as well as the details of the inviting party, official stamp, and Chinese ID if the inviting party is a Chinese citizen.
  • Recent passport photo.

On the date of the appointment, the reservation form should be presented in order to receive a queue number. Once the applicant’s number is called, they must proceed to submit all the required documents and have their fingerprints scanned and collected.

In some cases, an interview might be conducted to further assess whether an applicant may qualify for a visa or not. Additional documents may be required, depending on applicant’s country of origin, the location in which the visa application is submitted, or the individuals intended travel destination in China. If you are planning to travel to China, consult with the Chinese embassy in your country to confirm whether you may need to provide additional documentation.

The payment for the visa application will be processed once all documents have been submitted in person. Thereafter an applicant will receive a pickup form, detailing the time when the passport can be collected.

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How MSA Can Help Your Business

Need help launching your business in China? For more than a decade, MSA has been supporting foreign enterprises to establish their presence in the country.

Our team of experts has the comprehensive knowledge of regulations and due process in China, ensuring we deliver only the very best quality to our clients. From company registration to payroll and accounting services, we will help you start or expand your business in the most efficient way. Learn more about how we can assist you secure a Chinese M visa. Get in touch with us today!