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China Business Visa (M)

China business visa or trade visa, M visa for short, is issued to foreigners coming for commercial and trade activities, such as attending trade fairs, visiting clients and factories, negotiating with clients, and signing contracts. The validity period of China M visa is three months in most cases, while the allowed duration of stay is usually 30 days and can be longer depending on applicants' personal cases. For Canada, Argentina, and US citizens, they can even get a 10-year China business visa.

 China M or F visa used to confuse many foreign visitors. From 2013, the original F is divided into M and F. The former is for business and trade, while today’s China F visa applies to noncommercial sci-tech and culture exchanges.

China Business Visa Requirements & Documents

 Basic Documents for M Visa China:

1. Valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity and more than one blank visa page; and a copy of the information page.

2. A completed typewritten application form with a recently-taken color photo glued to or stapled on. (Download China Business Visa Application Form)

3. Proof of legal stay or residence if you are applying from a third country.

4. China Business Visa Invitation Letter
According to China M visa rules, one of the following is required:
1). Invitation letter issued by a Chinese business or trade partner.
2). Invitation letter or confirmation letter of invitation issued by duly authorized Chinese institutes or relevant units.
3). Invitation letter of a trade fair.

 China invitation letter for business visa should cover:

a. The applicant’s information including full name, birth date, passport number, etc.

b. Information about the intended business visit, including purpose, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, etc.

c. Information about the inviter including name, contact number, address, signature, official stamp, etc.

How to Apply for China Business M Visa

You can submit your application for Chinese business visa to the consular office of Chinese embassies or consulates by yourself, or ask someone else (such as your friends, relatives) or entrust an agency to do so on your behalf. The power of attorney is not required. For China business visa UK, or in some countries like Singapore, India, and Australia, you need to submit the application to the CVASC (Chinese Visa Application Center).

Processing Time

It regularly takes 4 working days for processing the application. However, the express service and rush service are also available if you want to pick up your M visa earlier. Extra USD 30 should be paid for the same-day collection; and additional USD 20 for the second or third day collection.

Chinese Business Visa Fees

China business visa fees are the same as that of tourist visas. The applicant’s nationality and number of entries make a difference. Generally China multiple-entry business visa cost more. In countries where there are CVASC, you need to pay both the Chinese M visa fee and the service fee to the center.

China Business Visa Types US Citizens Canadian Citizens UK Citizens Australian Citizens
Single Entry USD 140 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 109.5
Double Entries USD 140 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 139.5
Multi Entries for 6 Months USD 140 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 169.5
Multi Entries for 12 Months or Longer USD 140 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 229.5

*The table is for reference only. For more details, please click China Visa Fees.

Visa Extension

After entering China, if the duration of stay cannot cover your trip, it’s possible to go to the local exit and entry administration to apply for a China business visa extension at least seven days before the original M visa expires. Usually it costs CNY 168 for a single extension.

Best trade fairs in China

Canton Fair in Guangzhou: April 15 to May 5; October 15 to November 4 annually
Yiwu International Commodities Fair: October 21 to 25 annually
East China Fair in Shanghai: March 1 to 5 annually
China Hi Tech Fair in Shenzhen: November 16 to 21 annually
Western China International Fair in Chengdu: late October biennially
Beijing International Automotive Exhibition: late April biennially

Plan a short trip during your time off

Although you may have a tight schedule during the business trip in China, you can plan a short excursion in your time off with China business visa. On working days, you can hang out at night and wander around the most bustling areas in the city. While on weekends, it’s a nice idea to book a one-day or two-day tour to take a glance of the city. If travelling between two cities, take high speed train as the first choice if the duration is less than 5 hours, as it’s more comfortable with wider leg space compared with flight.


Further Reading: China F Visa

F visa is issued to foreigners invited to China for a noncommercial exchange, investigation or visits for scientific and technological education, cultural exchanges, health or sports activities. In some situations foreigners with a need to travel frequently in and out of China over a longer period may be granted a 12-month multiple entry F visa. The F type has been used as a 'catch all' option.  Consular offices have been willing to issue China F visa, relatively easily and often for longer durations than a tourist L visa.

 8 Tips for Filling Out Chinese Visa Application Form
 Top 8 Reasons Why Your China Visa Gets Rejected

- Last modified on Sep. 10, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Business Visa
Asked by James from USA | Sep. 20, 2019 07:34Reply
M Visa Total days per calender year
I have an M Visa that is 10 year, Multiple entry, 60 days per entry. What I am understanding this that I can travel to China for business for 60 days at a time, multiple times per year. However, is there a cap on TOTAL number of days per calendar year I can stay in China?
Asked by sachin from INDIA | Sep. 19, 2019 07:58Reply
visa for installation of machine
I am an India citizen and have to travel to China for the upcoming project, for installation, commissioning & maintenance of our machine. My duration of stay for this project would be between 60 to 90 days. Can I work with business visa (M) or I have to apply for work visa (Z)?
Asked by IAMQBO | Sep. 19, 2019 01:24Reply
China Visa same day collection in Hong Kong
Hello, I'm an Italian citizen, I'd like to know if it is possible to pick up a China Business M visa the same day while in Hong Kong. I'll be in Hong Kong for one day only and then I have to move to China.
I would like to bring my passport in the morning and collect it in the afternoon/evening the same day.
Is there any office in Hong Kong that offer such service? If so, may you please let me have the address?

Also, what does it mean '3. Proof of legal stay or residence if you are applying from a third country.'
It means a proof of the booking of the hotel in China?

Asked by Alex from SWEDEN | Sep. 14, 2019 21:32Reply
Is there a limit on the number of M visas you can be granted in a given time period?
In the last 2 year or less, I have been granted (and in the following order), 1x single entry (30 day), 1x single entry (15 days), 2x multiple entry (6 months), and 1x single entry (30 day) visa.

Out of the past 12 months, I’ve been staying in China for roughly 10 months in total. Last time, I applied for a 1 year M visa but was only given a single-entry 30-day visa.

I’m a Swedish citizen but I’ve applied for visas in the Philippines (where I used to reside).

I have business interests in China but I do not by definition work in China, so an M visa has always been my to-go choice as I travel frequently between China and HK.

Given my track record of being given several M visas in a short period of time, would perhaps my chances of successfully getting another 6-12 month visa be higher if I provide a more detailed itinerary in the application form?
Answers (1)
Answered by Sidney from UNITED KINGDOM | Sep. 16, 2019 02:40

Given your records of travelling in China, there is a big chance to get a long-term multiple-entry M visa if you apply in your own country (Sweden). Normally, it is not possible for those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship to get a long-term visa.
Asked by Hans from SWITZERLAND | Sep. 12, 2019 19:49Reply
Can I change a M visa to a residence and work permit
Answers (2)
Answered by Leonard from UNITED KINGDOM | Sep. 15, 2019 22:54

Yes, you can. After you get a job, you could go to the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) Exit and Entry Administration office to change your M visa into a work Z visa and then apply for the work permit and residence permit.
Answered by IMMIGCHINA | Sep. 18, 2019 03:00

no. i think the procedure has some problems as above . if you hold a m visa , come to china .then apply for work permit and residence permit at local .maybe it is easier . but you have prepare the consulation of the degree and no-criminal record before come .
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