What is the change? A new version of official invitation letters has been released by the Municipal Commission of Commerce/Foreign Affairs Office of China, and must be used by companies sponsoring foreign nationals on Z work visas, M business visas, or F exchange-visit visas.

What does the change mean? The new form is identifiable by a digital bar code on the top right accompanied by an 18-digit number. Applicants submitting older versions without the bar code risk having their visa applications rejected.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: F, M andZ visas.
  • Who is affected: Companies sponsoring foreign nationals for F, M and Z visas.

Background: Certain visas, including business and work visas, require that companies apply for an official invitation letter from the appropriate authorities.

BAL Analysis: From now on, only the new version of official invitation letters will be issued by authorities. To avoid delays or rejection of their visa applications, employers should confirm that invitation letters contain the bar code before submitting them with their visa applications.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in China. For additional information, please contact

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