FAQ4 How could I get a new visa from the Embassy during the entry ban?
It has been more than two months since the entry ban came into effective, and some foreign expats have entered China successfully with new visa during the restriction period. What we have known are the technical personnel from Korea and the executives from Germany as well as their accompanying family. Their successful entry benefits from the “Fast Track” between the two countries, but how about those from other countries without “Fast Track”? How could they come to China during the restriction period? How could they gain a visa from the local Chinese Embassy/Consular?
So far as we know, no matter entering China by normal ways or by the “Fast Track”, foreign expats should first apply for an invitation letter from relevant Chinese government (normally the Foreign Affairs Office of the Municipal / Provincial People’s Government), and then applying a new visa from local Chinese Embassy / Consular with the invitation letter.
Requirements and Procedures for Applying an Invitation Letter
The above invitation letter should be issued by the Chinese Government with unified coding at the top right corner. The invitation letter issued by a Chinese company like before would not be accepted now.
The above invitation letter can only be applied from the local authority by the employer or the reception unit, but not be applied in the name of an individual.
The foreign expats who meet at least one of the below requirements may have the opportunity to apply for the invitation letter.
Serving major national and municipal level projects in China;
Serving key projects and scientific research programs of international cooperation in cities and regions;
Foreign high-end talents assessed by relevant departments in China;
Core Managers and experts from the local important foreign-funded enterprises.
Due to the different requirements of the local authorities, please consult to the authority where the enterprise registered for detail instruction before applying the invitation letter. But the basic requirement should be that the foreign expats plays a role of decisive, urgent and irreplaceable in the local major projects or key enterprises.
From which authorities the Chinese inviting unit could apply for the invitation letter?
The inviting unit could submit the application to the local Commerce Bureau (or Commission of Commerce), Foreign Affairs Office, Investment Promotion Bureau (or the Foreign Investment Department), Development and Reform Commission, where the enterprise registered, or apply from the competent industry supervisor which the enterprise’s business belongs to. All application materials should be prepared according to the details requested by the local authority.
In addition, as far as we know, Chambers of Commerce from various countries in China are also communicating and coordinating with relevant Chinese authorities for their members now. Foreign-funded enterprises in China could also ask them for help.
After receiving the application materials, the authority would make a preliminary review and approval. Then the approved application would be submitted to the superior authority for final approval. After that, the enterprise can go to the Foreign Affairs Office of the Provincial/Municipal Government with the Application Form of Invitation Letter issued by the authority, to apply for the final invitation letter. It would take around 2~3 weeks to pass through all the above procedures.
When the Foreign Affairs Office of the Provincial/Municipal Government issuing an invitation letter, it will also send a copy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chinese Embassy/Consular where the visa will apply from. And then the foreign expat can bring the Invitation Letter and other required documents to the Local Chinese Embassy/Consular to apply his visa. The Chinese Embassy/Consular will issue a new single-entry visa according to the inviting purpose stated on the Invitation Letter.
Policies and Convenience of the “Fast Track”
What is the “Fast Track”？
The “Fast Track” between China and a Foreign Country were built with the purpose of providing convenience to both countries’ important exchanges of business, logistic, production and technical service, to maintain and develop both countries economic and trade cooperation, as well as make the production chain and supplying chain stable and smooth.
So far, how many countries have built the “Fast Track” with China?
Besides Korea and Germany that we mentioned in our Article FAQ3, Singapore has been another country built the “Fast Track” with China. In order to facilitate the important business and official exchanges between Singapore and China, since Jun.8, the two countries established a “Fast Track”, which would connect Singapore and six provinces and cities, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin and Zhejiang, in China.
Furthermore, it was reported on May 27, Chinese Civil Aviation Administration released a notice shown that there are 8 countries, including Japan, Korea, Singapore, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland, could apply for opening “Fast Track” with China from the publishing date on. The Provincial Government can help these 8 countries apply for the arrangement of charter flight from Civil Aviation Administration to take their foreign expats back to China.
What are the advantages of the “Fast Track”?
With the “Fast Track”, the Civil Aviation Administration can provide quick approval for a charter flight based on the current flight amount to send foreign expats back to China for their work;
They can receive the Invitation Letter for visa more quickly;
Once the foreign expats arrive in the province or city where the “Fast Track” is available, their quarantine period could be shortened by their qualified Health Test and Examination both before and after their entry.
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