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China Business Visa Guide

The China business visa, also known as an M visa, is issued to those intending to go to China for commercial and trade purposes, such as business meetings, workshops, and training sessions.

Who Can Apply for a China Business Visa?

Every foreign national can apply for a China business visa unless they are from one of the countries that benefit from China’s visa-free policy. Specific agreements with certain countries offer special visas:


Visa Duration

United States

Up to 10 years


Up to 9 years


Up to 10 years


Up to 10 years

United Kingdom

Up to 2 years

Additional benefits include:

  • Foreigners with a previous business visa can apply for a 1-year business visa.

  • Residents of Hong Kong with an HKID card are eligible for a 1-year business visa.

  • APAC citizens with an ABTC (APEC Business Travel Card) with "CHN" on the back can travel to China for up to 60 days on business without a visa.

  • Holders of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao passports will have a special travel permit valid for up to 10 years.

  • Business travellers from Hong Kong to Shenzhen can get a 5-day visa, and those from Macao to Zhuhai can enjoy a 3-day visa upon arrival.

How to Apply for a China Business Visa?

When applying for a China business visa, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the required documents: Use the checklist provided by the embassy to gather necessary documents. Proper documentation is crucial for your application.

  2. Complete your visa application form: Fill out the visa application form accurately, print it, and include it with other documents.

  3. Book an appointment with the Chinese embassy or consulate: Find the nearest Chinese embassy or consulate and book a visa appointment.

  4. Attend the visa appointment: Submit your documents and undergo an interview at the embassy or consulate. Biometric information will be collected for applicants aged 14 to 70.

  5. Pay your visa application fee: Pay the visa application fee, service fee, and tax. Costs vary depending on nationality.

  6. Wait for the processing time and get your visa: Standard processing time is 4 working days. Express service (2-3 days) is available for an additional fee. Collect your passport with the China business visa once approved.

What Are the Requirements for a China Business Visa?

Submit the following documents when applying for a China business visa:

  1. Visa application form: A fully completed form available online.

  2. Original passport: Valid for at least six months with two blank pages. Include photocopies of the bio and extension pages (if applicable).

  3. Passport-sized photograph: Complying with China visa photo requirements (48mm x 33mm).

  4. Certificate of employment: Stating the applicant’s name, passport number, job position, purpose of visit, and a photocopy of the employee’s card.

  5. Business cover letter: Addressed to the Embassy of China from your home country company.

  6. Letter of invitation: Issued by a trade partner in China or trade fair organizer, containing details of the applicant, visit, and inviting party.

  7. Company certificate and tax clearance record.

  8. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

  9. Trip itinerary: Air ticket booking (round trip) and hotel reservation proof.

  10. Proof of financial subsistence: An original bank statement for the last 4 months, signed and stamped by the bank. The average amount should not be less than HK$2764.98.

How Long Can I Stay With a China Business Visa?

The M visa is valid for up to 6 months with one, two, or multiple entries, allowing a 30-day stay per entry. US, UK, Canadian, and Argentine citizens can obtain a 10-year visa with multiple entries, each allowing a 2-month stay.

To extend your stay, visit the local exit and entry administration at least seven days before your visa expires.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a China Business Visa?

The cost varies by nationality and service speed:


Number of Entries

Visa Fee (CNY)

Schengen Citizens



United States



United Kingdom














Multiple (6 months)


Multiple (12 months)







Multiple (6 months)


Multiple (12 months)


Can Woodburn help you?


Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is one of China’s most trusted business setup advisory firms.

Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is specialized in inbound investment to China and Hong Kong. We focus on eliminating the complexities of corporate services and compliance administration. We help clients with services ranging from trademark registration and company incorporation to the full outsourcing solution for accounting, tax, and human resource services. Our advisory services can be tailor-made based on the companies’ objectives, goals and needs which vary depending on the stage they are at on their journey.


Talk to an expert

Schedule a 30-mins complimentary, no-obligation call to see how Woodburn can help you. Book a call with our Head of Business Advisory - Kristina Koehler-Coluccia.

Topics we can advise on include:

  • Company Registration

  • Cloud Accounting & Financial Reporting

  • Cloud Payroll Services

  • Tax & Audit Services

  • Recruitment

  • Employer-of-Record

  • Visa Application

  • Trademark Registration

  • Switch to Woodburn

  • Partner with Woodburn (cross referral) 

Our calls are automatically scheduled via Zoom - or via Teams, WeChat or WhatsApp upon direct request. 

Our advisory calls are available from Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm CEST and Wednesday until 9pm CEST.



Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is one of China and Hong Kong’s
most trusted business setup advisory firms

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