As of September 23, 2020, the Foreign Ministry and National
Immigration Administration of China has revised their travel entry
ban to allow foreign nationals who hold residence permits for work,
personal matters, or reunion, to enter China without having to
apply for a new entry visa. Those with residence permits for
work, personal matters, or reunion that have expired after March
28, 2020 will need to obtain a new entry visa from the consulate
that has jurisdiction over their residence.
The Chinese authorities confirmed that holders of valid
residence permits, including for work or family reunion, who are
nationals of certain countries, may apply for the visa without a
letter of invitation (LOI or “PU Letter”). However,
the implementation of this new policy currently varies from
consulate to consulate and should be confirmed before a visa
application is submitted.
The new policy may apply to residence permit holders who are
nationals of the following countries, applying for visas in these
countries: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy,
Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands,
North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United
Companies in China are allowed to apply for an M visa invitation
letter, with a maximum duration of 180 days, for essential foreign
workers performing necessary and urgent economic, trade, scientific
or technological activities. If the invitation letter is approved
and issued (under limited circumstances), the foreign national can
apply for an M visa at the relevant Chinese consulate.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.