As of September 23, 2020, the Foreign Ministry and National Immigration Administration of China has revised their travel entry ban to allow foreign nationals who hold residence permits for work, personal matters, or reunion, to enter China without having to apply for a new entry visa. Those with residence permits for work, personal matters, or reunion that have expired after March 28, 2020 will need to obtain a new entry visa from the consulate that has jurisdiction over their residence.
The Chinese authorities confirmed that holders of valid residence permits, including for work or family reunion, who are nationals of certain countries, may apply for the visa without a letter of invitation (LOI or "PU Letter"). However, the implementation of this new policy currently varies from consulate to consulate and should be confirmed before a visa application is submitted.
The new policy may apply to residence permit holders who are nationals of the following countries, applying for visas in these countries: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Companies in China are allowed to apply for an M visa invitation letter, with a maximum duration of 180 days, for essential foreign workers performing necessary and urgent economic, trade, scientific or technological activities. If the invitation letter is approved and issued (under limited circumstances), the foreign national can apply for an M visa at the relevant Chinese consulate.
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