When applying for a business visa to China you may need to show a letter of invitation from a business contact inviting you to visit. Usually this will be printed on the company letterhead and chopped (stamped) with the inviting company’s seal, as well as signed by the writer.
Below is a sample of the content for such a letter. This is only a sample, not a prescribed template.
[Date] [Consulate General of China]
This is to certify that [insert name of inviting company] would like to invite the following individual to have an important business meeting in China:
[insert applicant’s title and name in full as shown on their passport]
Nationality: [insert applicant’s nationality as shown on their passport]
Passport number: [insert applicant’s passport number]
Date of issue: [insert date of issue of the applicant’s passport]
Date of expiration: [insert date of expiration of the applicant’s passport]
Date of birth: [insert applicant’s date of birth]
[Applicant’s title] [applicant’s name], [applicant’s job title], will be in [insert city or cities in China to be visited] from [entry date] to [exit date] to attend the company meeting.
While there, he will be contacting [insert name of inviting company contact] of [insert inviting company’s full name]. His/her address is [insert inviting company’s business address]. The phone number is [insert inviting contact’s phone number. You can use an assistant’s number but we don’t suggest using a switchboard number in case the visa authorities end up calling – which is not usual – and the switchboard operator doesn’t recognise your contact’s name].[Inviting company name] will take charge of all expenses during [insert applicant’s title and surname] visit to China, including flights, living accommodation and other maintenance expenses.
We would greatly appreciate your assistance in providing [applicant’s title and surname] an appropriate business visa.
Yours faithfully[insert name of letter writer] [insert title letter writer within inviting company] [insert name of inviting company].
Make sure that the passport details match the passport being used for the application – for example, if you are going to replace your passport shortly before the trip, you’ll need to wait to use the details of your new passport, as that is the one in which any visa will be affixed.
It may make it easier if the letter states that the inviting company will cover costs, as above, but this is not essential.
Your inviting company may suggest that the letter is written by a particular person even if it is not your business contact, for example someone from their personnel department.
For our full article on applying for Chinese visas read here for American citizens and more generally and here on applying in Hong Kong. If you have an urgent meeting and may not have time to get a visa, read our article on getting into China without a visa.