Published in China News on 16.12.2020
China-Visa in times of Covid-19
In order to enter China at present, a self-employed person needs a valid M visa. This visa is valid in most cases 180 days and is issued primarily to entrepreneurs who want to pursue economic or commercial activities. Such as visiting clients, factories or trade fairs.
It is also possible to enter most provinces with a Z-VISA. These are issued to employees and are valid for 30 days. Within these 30 days, the worker must apply for a work and residence permit, which is usually a formality. This permit must be valid for at least 90 days and can be valid for a maximum of 5 years.
Due to the ongoing Corona pandemic, for both VISAs, in addition to the classic documents, another document must be submitted, namely the so-called PU (purpose of use) letter.
This is not issued by the responsible embassy or consulate, but by the responsible regional foreign affairs office in the province where the company is registered.
A prerequisite for issuance is that one can cite important economic, scientific or commercial reasons why one needs to enter China. This means that PU invitations are mainly issued to managers or other important employees of medium-sized and large companies.
To apply for a PU invitation letter, one must submit the following documents to the appropriate Foreign Affairs Office (FAO):
- PU invitation letter application, written by the employer (form is provided by the FAO)
- personal information (form provided by FAO)
(Name of inviting company, company address, contact person, contact information contact person as well as name of invited person, nationality, birthday, description of duties in China, proposed date of entry and place of entry, length of stay)
- List of places to be visited within the province - additional documentation is required for cross-province trips.
- Reason for visit to China (economic, technological, etc.)
- Documents about family members traveling with you (maximum 5)
- Information about the inviting company (form will be provided by FAO)
- Copy of passport of the invitee valid for at least 6 months, including previous visa pages of China.
The success of such an application depends on properly justifying why it is unavoidable for the person in question to enter China, furthermore, it is important that the company in question pays taxes regularly, as officials will use this figure for their decision.
The processing of the application takes about 5 working days if the classification is correct. If any documents are missing, most officials are helpful and will get back to you, however, one should be able to speak fluent Mandarin for filling it out as well as for communication.
Once you receive the PU invitation letter, it is valid for 3 months and you can use it to apply for the visa. However, the PU letter can be retroactively invalidated if the person to be invited has
- has violated the law at a previous entry
- incorrect information has been provided, or
- the activities carried out by the invited participant in China do not correspond to the information provided
In addition, it should be noted that a so-called HS Health QR Code must be applied for at the responsible consulate. A negative IgM antibody test, a negative PCR test, both of which must not be older than 48 hours at the time of boarding, as well as a self-completed health declaration that predominantly asks about corona symptoms, must be submitted.
These three documents should be sent to the following emails (Germany):
Chinese Embassy; firstname.lastname@example.org for the states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Chinese Consulate General in Hamburg; email@example.com for the states of Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein
Chinese Consulate General in Munich; firstname.lastname@example.org for the Free State of Bavaria
Chinese Consulate General in Frankfurt; email@example.com for the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse
Chinese Consulate General in Düsseldorf; firstname.lastname@example.org for North Rhine-Westphalia
Within a few hours, you will receive the required HS health code to board the plane.
Since recently, you do not need a separate HS code for the tests conducted at Frankfurt Airport, but can board the plane directly with the test results.
After leaving China, you must cancel your visa with the issuing authority within 30 days.