Solving The China Miseries, What Visa Do You Need To Visit China on Business?

Author xlxmarketing 5.3.2009. | 20:20

If you’re planning on coming to this year’s Canton fair it might pay to take out some time now and make sure you know how you’ll get your visa (photographer: Daroit)

So, you’re coming to the Canton fair to find some new China sources for products.

You’ve got your ticket, the time off is scheduled and the hotel is booked.

But is your visa in order yet, and do you even know which China visa you will need for the Canton Fair?

It may well be the one fly in the ointment this year.

China might have greeted Canton Fair attendees and business visitors sourcing Chinese products with what was an effectively open door in previous years (before the 2008 Olympics) but that has all changed.

You could previously spend less than a day in Hong Kong and get yourself a F visa that gave you time, and entries, to burn. Unfortunately those days are gone.

Unless you are from the US you will now have to settle for a single/dual entry L visa that will only last for one-two months.

In fact, anybody making a quick visit to China to attend the Canton Fair could find valuable days knocked off their quick sourcing trip just because they haven’t done the research over which China visa they need beforehand.

China Visas And Their Purpose *information valid in March 2009
Entries Length
in months
Cost Agent Location
L Visa One – Two One – Two HK$300-1600 Hong Kong
F Visa Multiple Six – 12 RMB3000-6000 China

Hong Kong will still be Canton Fair attendees’ main port of call for visas with Hong Kong travel agents (hongkong.alloexpat.com/hongkong_information/tour_operators_hongkong.php) still being the main source for visas.

But the price of visas has gone up and you will be expected to pay F visa prices for a two month L visa and will have to wait two days to get it.

While this is OK if you just want to make quick trip to the Canton fair this is not good news for anybody making repeated factory visits, or checking on a line of merchandise, especially if you are not a Hong Kong resident card or US visa holder.

The two month L visa will do for most Canton fair attendees but if you’re here for longer, or you’re making more trips in and out it might not be enough (photographer Daroit)

Despite previous promises (china-briefing.com/news/2008/09/12/china-to-issue-one-year-multi-entry-business-visas-after-the-october-national-holiday.html) authorities haven’t come to the party with an easy one-day L or F visa application procedure even now.

US citizens were able to get a six month L visa with five 30 day entries at the time of writing the best deal in anybodies book.

For the time being if you are looking to spend a little more time in China your best option is to go online and find a China-based visa service (shanghaiist.com/2008/12/17/12_month_multipleentry_f_visa_avail_1.php) who will be able to get you a F visa.

You will have to have a whole wad of cash ready and be willing to stay in China for a little while (up to two weeks in some cases) but it is a small price to pay for the security in knowing that you have a six-twelve month multiple entry visa up your sleeve.

Take a look at your sourcing goals and see which visa will suit. Decide what type of visa you want today and start getting in contact with agents either in Hong Kong or China to find out the latest details in the process.

It will save yourself hours in frustration, fear, lost sourcing opportunities and wasted air tickets (shanghaiist.com/2008/04/18/more_updates_on.php).

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Author xlxmarketing 5.3.2009. | 20:20
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