Mainland China continues to ease entry requirements for foreign nationals. Foreign affairs offices in China announced that, effective 6 June 2022, they have lifted the PU Letter requirement for foreigners who work in China and their dependents. A PU Letter, also known as an invitation letter, is a government-issued document that foreigners must receive before applying for several types of visas.
Chinese embassies and consulates have also eased visa application requirements for foreign workers and started processing visas for qualified overseas students. However, a PU Letter is still required for business visa applicants.
According to the new policy, foreigners who meet one of these conditions no longer need a PU letter to apply for entry visas:
- Foreigners who will work in China and have successfully applied for a Notification Letter of Foreigner’s Work Permit (WPNL);
- Foreigners who hold a valid China Work Permit (WP); and
- Dependent family members, including spouses and children under 18.
These are the commonly available categories of entry visa and their PU Letter requirements:
- M visa, for commercial and trade, requires PU Letter for business;
- F visa, for exchange and visits, requires PU Letter for business;
- Z visa, for work, does not require PU Letter but requires WPNL or WP;
- S1/S2 visa, for family visits, does not require PU Letter but requires a relationship certificate;
- Q1/Q2 visa, for reunion, does not require PU Letter but requires a relationship certificate;
- X1/X2 visa, for study, does not require PU Letter but requires JW201/JW202 form; and
- R visa, for talent, does not require PU Letter
Following the visa facilitation policy implemented in mid-March 2021 for applicants fully inoculated with Chinese-made covid-19 vaccines, the partial lifting of the PU Letter requirement is another big step towards reopening the border, although tourist visas, transition visas and visa-exemption policies are still suspended until further notice.
Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker McKenzie by e-mailing Howard Wu (Shanghai) at firstname.lastname@example.org