Virginia, US
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| Jenny Wang

Invitation Letters No Longer Required for Z Visas in China

In order to streamline administration, delegate powers, strengthen regulations and improve services, Chinese labour and immigration authorities have made the decision to waive the current requirements that applicants for Z work visas present an Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit in support of their applications for all future applicants. Z visa invitation letter is a document issued by government’s local Foreign Affair Offices (FAO).

What Is This About?

On March 13, 2017, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security issued Ministerial Decree No.32 and publicly announced the Decision on Amendment of “Provisions on the Administration of Employment of Foreigners in China” (hereinafter referred to as “The Decision”), and announced that requirements for submitting an Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit in support of applications for Z work visas were removed. Hence, all relevant Foreign Affairs Offices (FAO) shall no longer issue the above-mentioned document for work visa purposes. 

The waiver of the invitation letter requirement applies only to applications for Z work visas.

What Does This Mean?

Chinese Embassies and Consulates no longer require the Z visa Invitation Letter issued by FAO for Z visa application overseas, and this is a trend that more and more overseas consulates will follow.

It is confirmed that so far FAO in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hefei, Hangzhou, and Suzhou have stopped issuing Z visa invitation letters. Other cities should follow the same practice and will stop issuing Z visa invitation letters shortly.

What This Means for Employers 

Although the Z visa invitation letters issued by FAO may no longer be required for Z visa applications, some consular offices may require additional supporting documents such as a letter from the host company in China.

We are currently reaching out to various Chinese Embassies and Consular Offices regarding their practice on Z visa processing under this change and will continue to provide updates.

For more information reach our China office.