One of the questions that comes up when travelers are researching Chinese visas is: what exactly do I need in a China visa invitation letter? Anyone who has traveled to China as a tourist is probably aware of some of the requirements for a visa. With the exception of 24- and 72-hour transit stays, tourist visas cost upwards of $100 for just a few days or weeks in the country. For those looking for long-term stays with a business or working visa, they’ve probably had to deal with a China visa invitation letter in their application.
The good news
Tourists generally don’t need invitation letters, nor are they required to register with an agency prior to their arrival in China. Moreover, hotel reservations and an outgoing airline ticket are sufficient.
For business and work visa holders
For anyone considering staying in China beyond the scope of a tourist visa – usually for work or business – this invitation letter is essential to process your visa application. A letter of invitation must explain the relationship between a Chinese host and the visa holder. Everything you’d need in a standard application must be included, like name, gender, date of birth, and passport number. The letter must also state the purpose of visit, where the visa holder will stay (hotel or residence), and the date of arrival and departure from China.
The key isn’t so much this information, which is included in most Chinese visa applications. Rather, it’s reaching out to your Chinese employer or a reliable Chinese national to vouch for your activities while you’re abroad. The invitation letter should indicate who will be responsible for the cost of the visa holder’s accommodations in China in addition to information about the inviting host: name of the business or individual, phone number, and address. If it’s available, have your host or business apply their name stamp and signature to the form.
Have you applied for a Chinese visa using an invitation letter? Let us know in the comments!