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 Business Visa Requirements & Documents
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.
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).
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||Canada Citizens||Citizens of Other Countries|
|Single Entry||USD 140||CAD 100||USD 30|
|Double Entries||USD 140||CAD 100||USD 45|
|Multi Entries for 6 Months||USD 140||CAD 100||USD 60|
|Multi Entries for 6 Months or Longer||USD 140||CAD 100||USD 90|
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.