1. Travel
Sara Naumann

Do I Still Need an Invitation Letter to Visit China?

By August 18, 2009

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While seemingly arbitrary, some Chinese consulates and embassies were requiring visitors (from tourists and business travelers to students) to have an invitation letter accompanying a visa application for a visit to China. It was a strange formality but it seems now to be a policy no longer in use.

I contacted the Chinese Consulate in Chicago and they told me visitors no longer need a letter of invitation. Reading between the lines, it seems like the policy was a temporary one put in place during the phase leading up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

That makes the somewhat arduous process of getting a China visa (US$ 130 for single or multiple entry for US citizens) a little less so. So this is good news. However, if the policy changes, here’s some information on how to get the invitation letter and what needs to be included in it.

August 25, 2009 at 2:53 am
(1) wendy says:

We recently went to Shanghia for a holiday its was great,we got our visas at the airport on arival,it was just a short wait at the imigration office in the airport,everyone was friendly and helpful,we shopped and looked around,the streets were really bustling and vibrant,we enjoyed ourselves so much our thirteen year old son suggested we go back again next year,Shanghia China is a fun filled holiday with a great many surprising treats to enjoy and amaze,the theme parks are fantastic and well worth going too.Make sure they have western soft beds where you are staying as the chinese like hard,hard beds.

August 26, 2009 at 12:12 am
(2) gochina says:

Hi Wendy, glad you enjoyed your visit to Shanghai. I agree with your comment about beds! That’s a good tip for visitors.

However, trying to get a visa at the airport should not be attempted by other visitors to China. I’m surprised you were able to do it. For other readers, if you’re planning on visiting China, please ensure you have obtained your visa properly in advance. There is a high risk that you will be turned away at the airport and deported back to your home country. Not a great way to start a trip!

Sara Naumann

January 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm
(3) mare says:

No longer true. The invitation letter is required again. It’s like a cat and mouse game. very very annoying.

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