China – Shanghai and Beijing Authorities No Longer Issuing M Visa Invitation Letters

As of August 25, M visa invitation letters are no longer being issued in certain cases by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce, the Pudong District Foreign Affairs Office in Shanghai, and the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce. Applicants from some countries are still being issued from the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office. There are no reported changes in Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Xi’an and these offices will still issue invitation letters.

This is a process change and not designed to curtain the overall issuance of M visas. It indicates China’s growing willingness to accept letters from Chinese companies rather than those from the government. This may shorten application processing times in some cases. Applicants should consult their local consulate or immigration official to make sure that they have all appropriate supporting documentation ahead of submission.