Almost all China visa applications, whether for travel, business, family reunion, or other ventures, will require an invitation letter as part of the supporting documents provided to the consular officers. Many first-time applicants may find this requirement to be confusing, and are unsure of what this invitation letter entails.
Below we will explain everything you need to know about the invitation letter, and present the available options you can choose from.
What is it?
Most simply, the invitation letter is intended to provide information regarding your visit. This includes purpose of visit, expected duration, and locations. It is required for most common visa types such as Business Visa (M), Work Visa (Z), Family Reunion Visa (Q), and even for Travel Visa (L), although there may be exceptions.
Who Can Provide It?
Invitation letters can be prepared for you by any sponsor currently residing in China, or by any relevant organization sponsoring your trip, but it largely depends on the purpose of your visit.
Travel by Invitation Letter
If you are going to China for travel, and are part of a tour-group or are using the services of an official travel-agency, then you are in luck! Such organizations will almost surely provide you with the invitation letter.
If you are travelling or visiting friends and family in China, but are not using any such organized services for your trip, then any Chinese or foreign acquaintance (in China) you may know can prepare such a letter, explaining the purpose of your visit.
Travel Without an Invitation Letter
But what if you want to plan your own trip, and do not know anyone residing in China who can provide such a letter?
Luckily, there is a way around the invitation letter. You will need to provide the following supporting documents:
- A round-trip ticket to China and back
- Full-list of all your confirmed hotel bookings that cover the duration of your trip
These two items of your itinerary can be used in place of the invitation letter most of the time, but make sure that there are no “open” time frames within your trip where you are missing hotel reservations or relevant domestic (Chinese) flights.
This alternative is of course not as simple as it sounds, and requires some work. The good news is, if you are worried about the potential cost of making all these bookings in advance, you can always cancel all of these reservations after having acquired your China visa. Just be sure to check that the hotels and flights you choose have an option for a full-refund!
For trips that are business oriented, you will definitely be required to provide an official letter from a relevant company or business you may be visiting or cooperating with. The sponsor providing the letter must be Chinese and includes (but is not limited to) trade partners, factories, business clients, or trade fairs.
Invitation letters intended for business visas will also need to be approved by the relevant local government bureau and include an official government stamp.
What Should an Invitation Letter Include?
An invitation letter will need to cover information on both yourself, and your sponsor/inviter. For the section about you, necessary information includes:
- Full name, gender, nationality, date of birth, and passport number.
- Your relationship with the inviter.
- Purpose of your visit, expected arrival and departure dates, intended locations of work/business and accommodation
- Information on how your visit will be financed (by yourself or by the inviter).
For the section about the inviter, necessary information includes:
- Full name, gender, nationality, address (home or company), and contact information (e-mail and phone number).
- Residence status in China (may need copies of relevant documentation as proof)
- If a business, provide an official registered business license or certificate, with the official company stamp.
Check out our Top 10 China Tours for 2019/2020 or contact us for a hassle-free trip-planning experience that will save you time and ensure maximum satisfaction! If you tour with us, we can provide an invitation letter for your China visa!