China Visa for Business
China Visa for Business
Most foreign citizens require a visa to enter China. Especially when going to China for employment or business reasons, it is important to apply for the right visa. The purpose of this article is to shortly elaborate on the China visa for business options for conducting business and what to do when arriving in China.
Business Visa China
The first China visa for Business is a business visa. If you are in China for business reasons (such as visiting potential partners, clients and/or exhibitions) you can apply for a business visa. It is important to take notice of a few important information on the visa:
- Enter Before: The date on which you need to enter China
- Entries: The number of times you can enter China. Usually, single, double or multiple entries are given.
- Duration of each stay: The number of days that you can stay per entry.
Please note that there are currently some long-term visas issued. For example, if you have a 10-year visa with 60 days multiple entry, the ‘enter before’ date would indicate 01-08-2028 and you can enter China as many times as you want for a maximum of (calendar) days. Please see the example below:
On the 60th calendar day, the visitor must leave China, elsewise the foreigner would be considered to have ‘overstayed’ his/her business visa for China. Still, the visitor cannot obtain a local salary in China as this is illegal without having a working permit.
China Work Visa
When a foreigner moves to Beijing for employment purposes and wants to receive a local salary, apply for a China work Visa. This visa usually has 1 year+ duration after which the foreigner is considered to be an employee in China. This also implies that one is required to pay taxes over the gained income. There are a few distinct advantages of this China visa for business:
- The foreigner can stay for the full duration of the visa in China and doesn’t have to leave the country.
- It is a multiple entry visa
- The visitor can receive a salary locally (but naturally has to pay taxes over this).
The detailed procedures on how to apply for the work visa can be found here. Although the procedure is clear, the requirements can be rather strict and needs to be followed to the letters.
Short term transit visas
Foreigners that have a transit through China, for touristic of business reasons, can be eligible to apply for a visa free visit. The duration of these visits is dependent on the location, but usually between 24 and 144 hours. You only need to apply when you arrive in Mainland China. Currently, people from 53 countries can make use of this when they fulfill the following requirements:
- Hold a passport valid for at least 3 months from the date of entry;
- Arrive by air, cruise ship or train (except when arriving from certain airports listed below);
- Hold confirmed air, cruise ship or train tickets to a third-country final destination outside Mainland China departing in within the duration of the visa (standby tickets are not allowed).
It is very important to notice that there needs to be a third-country final destination. This implies that one cannot travel from London to Shenzhen and then back to London to be eligible for this China visa for business. Furthermore, the duration of the visa is dependent on the city where you enter, and you are bound to a geographical region.
- 72-hour Visa’s: Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenyang, Dalian, Xian, Guilin, Wuhan, Qingdao, Xiamen, Changsha, Harbin and Wuhan
- 120-hour Visa’s: Shenzhen
- 144-hour Visa’s: Beijing/Tianjin region and Shanghai/Zhejiang/Jiangsu region.
Lastly, due to the new rules and regulations for the free trade zone in Hainan, foreigners are allowed to travel to the island for 30 days. This can be done without traveling to a third country, but visits need to be booked by China’s National Tourism Administration.
When applying for a China visa for business or employment reasons, it is important to hand in a full application. This includes a stamped (or chopped) invitation letter from the inviting party. By issuing such an invitation letter, the inviting party is responsible for the foreigner entering China and must make sure that the Chinese rules and regulations are adhered to. Furthermore, the business activities must be in line with the business scope indicated on the business license of the inviting party.
The letter must contain the following information:
- Information of the applicant, including, name, gender, date of birth and passport information
- Details of the planned visit, including the purpose, the places visited and relationship between the applicant and the inviting party
- Indication whether there is any financial support
- Flight information, including arrival and departure dates
- Information of the inviting party, including contact information and phone number
- Official stamp of the company and signature of the individual / legal representative.
If one of the items above is missing, the invitation letter might not be deemed valid and needs to be altered. The visa duration and times of entry are based on the information in the invitation letter and potentially based on previous visits from the applicant.
Temporary Residence Permit
Within 24 hours of arrival, the local police should be notified where you are staying as a foreigner. This means that you must apply for a Form of Temporary Residence. If you stay in a hotel, the hotel should do it for you after you arrive. In this case you will not get a paper indicating where you are staying. However, if you stay over at a friend or rent an apartment you need to apply for the permit. In order to do so, you need to go to the local police and provide the following information:
- Original Passport, visa and most recent stamp into China
- Current rental agreement for the apartment where you are staying, including a photo copy of the ID of the landlord
- Contact information including your phone number
The requirements above might be different per region and/or police office, so we advise you to take a Chinese speaking host with you. The temporary residence permit is often forgotten by foreigners, but we advise everyone to do it so that you will not have any complications when either leaving China or re-entering a next time.
If you have any further questions about a China visa for business purposes, or how to take advantage of opportunities in China, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .