There are many types of visas to China, (C, D, F, G, J1, J2, L, M) etc. according to all circumstances, but if you are visiting on business, you should apply for an M visa. Typically the M-visa is for 90 days, and can be extended to up to a maximum of 180 days without leaving China.
Original passport with at least six months of remaining validity and four blank visa pages
2. Visa Application Form and Photo
3. An invitation letter which contains:
Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
Information on the planned visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures)
Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual). These documents may be handed over as photocopies, but in some cases the consulate will require the original document.
4. A copy of the Chinese firm’s business license
5. A business card with your company’s name and contact information (telephone, email, etc)
If you want to go to China on a tourist visa you should apply about at least about a month before departure and the application can be handled either by yourself or through an agency. To complete the application you need a passport valid for at least 6 months, and a photocopy of it, as well as a properly filled out visa application, two passport photos, a return ticket, a hotel booking for at least the first night, and a written travel plan. You can alternatively present an invitation letter from a contact with a Chinese residence permit instead of the hotel booking if you are visiting a friend.
If you stop over in China for three days or less, it’s possible to do so without a visa. This is only possible in the following cities and if you stay within the city limits:
Beijing (Beijing Capital International Airport);
Shanghai (Shanghai Pudong International Airport or Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport);
Guangzhou (Guangzhou Baiyu International Airport);
Chengdu (Chengdu ShuangLiu International Airport);
Chongqing (Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport);
Shenyang (Shenyang Taoxian Internatioanl Airport);
Dalian (Dalian International Airport);
Xian (Xian Xianyang International Airport);
Guilin (Guilin Liangjiang International Airport);
Kunming (Kunming Changshui International Airport);
Hangzhou (Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport).
Besides a valid passport, you’ll have to have a visa for your destination country (if required) and an airline ticket – with a departure time within 72 hours, – for the country you are traveling to.
Note that the countries of origin and destination cannot be the same. For this reason a ticket Rome-Shanghai-Milan won’t allow you an exemption; you’ll need a ticket such as Rome-Beijing-Tokyo or Rome-Shanghai-Seoul. The final destination can also be Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.
How do I request the 72 hour exemption?
You can forward your request for transit to your airline in advance, so that the airline can declare this to the Immigration Inspection prior to your visit. You will be granted a transit permit at the airport if you meet all requirements. NOTE: Beijing Capital International Airport has now changed this procedure; passengers can apply directly for 72 hour free transit permit after arrival at the airport.