Important News: China has announced to temporary suspension of entry to China for foreigners holding valid China Visa and Residence Permit from 0:00 am, March 28 2020. Current visa policies, like 24/72/144-hour Transit Visa Exemption, Port Visa (On-arrival Visa), Hainan 30-day Visa Free Entry... all will be suspended during the special time. Please notice and adjust your travel plan to China.
What is an invitation letter for visa application?
When you search for instruction about Chinese Visa Application Requirements online, you will find out a letter of invitation is often mentioned. As required, the letter is one of the principal supporting documents you should submit to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate for visa request. The letter will help to explain the reason why you will visit China and give details about the planned visit.
Does China Visa need invitation letter?
An invitation letter is mandatory required when applying most types of Chinese Visa, such as China Crew (C) Visa, F Visa, Business (M) Visa, Work (Z) Visa, Family Reunion (Q1/Q1)Visa, Private (S1/S2 Visa), etc.
China Tourist Visa and Transit Visa are two exceptions. With confirmed connecting flight ticket, an invitation letter is not required for Transit Visa. If you are invited to travel to China by your friends or travel agency, an visa invitation letter is needed. However, independent travelers can choose to submit travel itinerary (proof of air ticket booking and hotel reservation) only. There is NO need to prepare an invitation letter if you don’t have any friends, family members, relatives or inviting party in China. Making a letter of invitation from strangers will let your visit being suspicious, and even lead to visa denial.
The Chinese Embassies and Consulates don’t regulate any standard format and size of the invitation letter. Since the letter is submitted for visa application to embassy and consulate, being official/formal with proper etiquette is always the No.1 rule. Except the main body, a complete visa invitation letter should cover more elements, including the heading, greeting (opening salutation, the title of embassy name, embassy contact information), complimentary close, signature & official seal, writer’s contact information, date when the date was written and enclosures.
The letter must be paper form, and it could be computer print-out, handwritten letter, or in scanned copy or fax. The accurate format may vary slightly by different inviting individual or entity.
There are many types of invitation letters for different visa category. Generally, three major sections of information should be contained in the visa invitation letter, including details about the inviter, invitee and the invitation. The rule applies to most types of Chinese Visas. Below are detailed visa letter instructions for China Tourist and Business Visas - two most common visas for China visitors.
The invitation letter for China Tourist Visa should be related to the invited tour in China. It would be written by person or organization, covering information as follows:
1.) Information on the Applicant (Invitee)
Full Name, Nationality, Gender, Date of Birth, Passport Number, Contact Phone Number, Email Address, Relationship with the inviting person/unit (pictures together or materials in other formats), etc.
2.) Information on the Inviting Person/Unit (Inviter)
Full Name, Residence Status in China (property ownership certificate, lease agreement, etc), Contact Number, Address, Email, Official Stamp, Signature of the inviting individual or organization, etc.
3.) Information on the Intended Tour
Purpose of Visit
Itinerary of Travel
(When - Planned Departure Date & Arrival Date, Duration; Where - Places to Stay, including hotel reservation record, or statement if you will live in your friends’ house, How - Booked Round-trip Air Tickets)
To present the invitation is real and reasonable, you need to attach or enclose additional documents about the inviting person and the invitation. For example, proof of his/her identification, like an ID Card, permanent residence permit, passport or Chinese Visa; and proof of residence. (Business license is needed if tour is organized by a travel agency.)
Warm Tips: To help our customers successfully getting a China Tourist Visa, China Discovery will provide an Invitation Letter stating travel schedules, duration and places planned to visit. The travel details are necessary informations for filling in a China Tourist Visa Application Form. Meanwhile, we will give other instructions and assistance for the China L Visa application. Contact us to get more practical tips!
>> A Sample Invitation Letter for Tourist Visa to China in Chinese & English (PDF file)
Useful China Tour Planning Ideas
An official invitation letter is required when you apply China Business Visa for commercial and trade activities. The letter should give authentic information of the commercial visit and issued by a trade partner or host organization in China. Essential content of the visa invitation letter should includes:
1.) Information on the Applicant (Invitee)
Complete Personal Name, Nationality, Gender, Date of Birth, Passport Number, Contact Phone Number, Email Address, Relationship with the inviting person/unit (pictures together or other materials), etc.
2.) Information on the Inviting Institution/Person (Inviter)
Full Name, Contact Number, Address, Email, Official Stamp, Signature of the inviting person or the legal representative, photocopies of Business License & Organization Code of domestic company affixed with official seal, etc.
3.) Information on the Business Visit
Reason for Visit to China
Schedule (departure & arrival dates, places going to visit and stay, reserved round-trip plane tickets)
Certification of Business Relationship between the two parties (contract, receipt or other business documents)
Evidence of Financial Support
If you will apply for a visa/entry permit to Hong Kong for business activities (e.g. trade fair and exhibition), you need an invitation letter for visa request. The letter must be issued by a local company or other trade organization to confirm applicant’s proposed attendance.
What kind of information should be contained in the invitation letter? The main content is same to the above mentioned China Business (M) Visa requirement. There is no fixed format set, as long as the letter states all details clearly, completely and truly.
Note: Normally, the official authority requires the photocopy of the invitation letter only, so scanned copy is accepted. But for some special situations, the consulate asks for an original letter, therefore, applicants shall submit a original version to play safe.
Popular Hong Kong Tours:
1. When applying for a Chinese Visa, the invitation letter is only submitted as one of the supporting materials. It serves as an strong proof of your purpose of visit, which persuades the visa officer to issue your a visa. However, the submission doesn’t guarantee you will get a China Visa successfully. The embassies reserve the right to reject your visa application.
2. You’re recommended to book cancellable air tickets and hotels for visa application. Once you obtain a Chinese Visa, you can adjust the reserved tickets and hotels.
3. Who should write you a letter of invitation?
* If you’re invited by an local entity in China, the company may have experience in providing you required visa invitation letter. Better use a company letterhead paper printed with the full name and contact information.
* If you are invited to visit China by individual, like your friend, you should remind him/her of the essential requirements and guidelines.
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