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

Kingdom.

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.

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