China adds new proof requirement for business visa applications filed in UK

27 Mar 15

CHINA, UNITED KINGDOM

IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? China has suddenly added a new application requirement for Chinese business visas filed in the U.K.

What does the change mean? All business visa applications must include copies of identification of the host in China who signed the Chinese invitation letter. The type of ID varies depending on the nationality of the host.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Business visas.
  • Who is affected: Applicants in the U.K. seekingbusiness visas to China.
  • Impact on processing times: The requirement adds another documentary step to the process.
  • Business impact: This new rule was implemented suddenly and may slow down business visa applications.
  • Next steps: Business visa applicants should allow extra time to obtain this newly required information.

Background: The Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in the U.K. imposed the new requirement without notice March 27.

Business travelers were already required to obtain invitation letters from hosts in China. Under the new rules, all business visa applications must now include proof of identity of the host in China who is inviting the business traveler. If the invitation letter was signed by a Chinese national, a copy of his or her ID card must be included in the business visa application. If the host is not a Chinese national, a photocopy of his or her passport photo page and Chinese residency is now required as part of the business visitor’s visa application.

The name and signature on the ID must match those on the letter of invitation.

BAL Analysis: Those planning business travel should plan to request the ID of their host in China to avoid delays in their visa applications.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact uk@balglobal.com.

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