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Do You Need an Invitation Letter for China Visa?

HiTouch 16 October 2018

Although China has canceled the invitation letter as a required document for the application of work visa. However, for other types of visas, L- Class and M-Class visa, for instance, applicants still need an invitation letter in most cases.


Do You Need an Invitation Letter?

Generally speaking, if you are visiting China independently (without an official tour group)  you may need to get an invitation letter when applying for a Chinese Tourist Visa(L- Class) or Business Visa(M-Class). Therefore, coming to China for business, traveling or visiting friends, etc, an invitation letter is needed in most cases. The letter is a document inviting the person applying for the visa to visit China. There is specific information required by the letter.


Image: vistforchina.org


Who Can Give You The Letter?


Most tour agencies supply the invitation letters for their travelers and group business. Tour groups are often issued a combined visa for those on their tour to China.


  • If you are backpacking or traveling on your own, some tour agencies might help you get the invitation letter.

  • If you are visiting someone, or know someone, in China, this person can write you an invitation letter.

  • If you are visiting a company/factory, that company/factory can provide you with the  Invitation Letter.


What to Include in The Letter?


L-Class Visa for China. Documents required by the People's Republic of China when applying for a visa vary by nationality. Here is an example, China's Visa Application section on their Washington DC Embassy website, here are the details on what is required relative to the invitation letter.



M-Class Visa for China. The requirements for a commercial visa are slightly different than that of a tourist visa for obvious reasons. If you are coming to China to do some business or attend some trade fair, then you should have a contact in China with a Chinese company who can help you get the required letter. The below information is from the Visa Application section of the Washington DC Embassy website:




Generally speaking, visa invitation letters for China must contain a certain amount of basic information below:


 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)


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);


What Does The Letter Look Like?


There is no set format for the letter. Basically, the information needs to be quite clear with the information stated by the requirements above. The letter does not need to be on any fancy stationary (though for M class visas, company letterhead might be a good idea).


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


Other Information to Enclose


We advise the person sending the invitation provides 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 the residence visa (granting them permission to reside in China) that is inside their passport or Chinese ID.



 Image: advantour.com


What to Do Next with The Letter?


The letter goes into your application packet as part of the documents you will submit to obtain your visa (along with your passport, visa application, etc.) You should make copies of everything so that if something gets lost or the Chinese embassy requires more information from you, you have a backup and record of what you've already submitted.


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.


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.


Cover Image: Mark Horn/Getty Images

Source: GuideinChina, tripsavvy.com visitforchina.org, sampleinvitationletter.info, cic.gc, sampleletters.net