To obtain entry into any foreign country, a valid visa is required. A visa authorizes you to gain entry into or travel through a foreign country for a specific period of time. The requirements for visas may vary from country to country and the prevailing political conditions.
For foreigners traveling to China on various purposes, permission for entry into, exit from and transit through China is granted by the Chinese visa-issuing authorities. Of the eight categories of Chinese visas available, the F visa or the business visa is the mandatory visa required for business visitors. The business visa is issued to individuals invited to deliver trainings, investigations, research, lectures, business meets, scientific/technological and cultural exchanges, and intern practice for a short period of only six months.
Owing to the upcoming Olympic Games and security concerns, security has been tightened for China and those requiring an entry into the province have to deal with extra visa procedures.
To apply for a Chinese visa, ensure that your passport has a minimum of six months validity and a blank visa page for the stamp. A visa notification form issued by Chinese authority has to be submitted along with the visa application and passport. Remember to fill in the relevant forms correctly and in a legible manner without any incomplete or missing information. Accurately mention the duration of stay planned, date of entry, and number of entries required. While the fees for single, double, and multiple entries for various periods are the same for American citizens ($ 130), it may vary for citizens of other countries (from $ 30 to $ 90).
The validity for a single entry Chinese visa is three months from the date of issue and six months for a double entry. The validity for multiple entries could be 6, 12, or 24 months. Visitors are expected to leave the country before the expiry date of the visa. A single entry visa requires an official invitation letter from the immigration office in China.
As per the recent updates in policies due to the Olympics, multiple entry visas are being issued only to frequent visitors. The round trip itinerary and the hotel reservations have to be submitted to get approval. A visa notification form is essential as also the official invitation letter. Only single entry visas are issued for the non-US passport holders. Among the other regular documents to be submitted for processing, non-US passport holders are being requested to produce photocopies of previous Chinese visas to speed up the procedures. Bank statements, sponsorship letters, or other proofs of financial assurance have to be provided.
These strict rules will be relaxed once the Olympic Games are over.
The visitor traffic to and from China has increased owing to the growing business scenario.