Here, we explain how to apply for a Business/Trade visa for China, also referred to as an ‘M’ visa, the eligibility rules, and how to apply. For expert assistance with your immigration matter, contact Reiss Edwards, immigration lawyers, and solicitors in London.
The economy in China is thriving, with international trade at an all-time high. Businesses from around the world have interests in China, whether they are buying or selling goods, providing services, or have offices within China. For this reason, each year, many thousands of business people travel to China for commercial and trade reasons. Due to the large demand for entry to China by foreign business people, the Chinese immigration authorities have made the process of securing a visa efficient and straightforward. If you will be travelling to China for business in the near future, it is essential that you choose the correct entry visa for your needs. Here, we explain how to apply for a Business/Trade visa for China, also referred to as an ‘M’ visa, the eligibility rules, and how to apply.
The Chinese M visa is specifically designed to enable foreign business people to travel to China for the purposes of carrying out a business or trade activity. This may including having a factory tour, purchasing products, attending a trade fair, taking clients to visit premises in China, attending a conference, meeting clients based in China, and signing contracts.
The M visa is issued for up to 30 days and can be used for a range of business activities, including:
To make a successful application for an M visa for China, you must:
Depending on which country you are from, you may not require a visa. To check if you are from a country that is visa-exempt, we recommend checking the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
If you are unsure if you are eligible for an M visa for China, speak to a lawyer specialising in Chinese immigration policy who will be able to assess this for you.
To apply for an M visa, you will first need to complete the online visa application form and then make an appointment with your nearest Chinese Visa Application Service Center. At your appointment, you will then need to submit any documents you are required to provide and have your biometric information scanned and processed.
The documents you will need to prepare for your M visa may include:
If any other documents are needed, such as any tax records, proof of relationships, or proof of business interests, you will be advised of this.
If you need any assistance with your China M visa application, speak to an immigration solicitor who will be able to guide you through the process, check you are applying for the correct visa, and that the application and supporting documents submitted are correct.
The application fee for an M visa for China is payable once the application is approved. The application fee will depend on which country you are applying from. The amount also depends on whether you are paying for the regular, express, or postal return service, the length of the visa, and whether it is for single or multiple entries. A schedule of fees (in pounds sterling) can be found online.
It is advisable to check with your local Chinese visa application centre. In many cases, applicants are required to book an appointment and attend in person before a visa can be fully processed.
The processing time for the M visa for China is as follows:
Given the short duration of the M visa, it is understandable that some visa holders need to extend their stay. In this situation, it may be possible to apply for a business visa extension at your local immigration office in China, however, this must be done no less than seven days before the M visa expires.
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