What are the changes? Effective immediately, foreign students studying at universities outside of China will no longer be issued letters of invitation for internship/training visas; students already holding such visas will not be allowed to extend them.

What does the change mean? The change will have a significant negative impact on internship and training programs for most foreign students in China.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Internship/training visas.
  • Who is affected: Employers and students currently applying for internship/training visas and those who already hold such visas.
  • Next steps: Employers and students will have to do significant alternate planning now that internship and training visas are no longer an option for most foreign students. Students currently holding such visas should prepare for their visas to expire without the possibility of renewal.

Background: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced an official policy to stop issuing Letters of Invitation to most foreign students. Chinese embassies and consulates have already begun rejecting applications for internship and training visas by foreign students studying at universities outside of China. However, foreign students currently studying at a Chinese university may be eligible to participate in an internship or training program, as long as they receive permission through the Public Security Bureau first.

BAL analysis: Applicants who have already received letters of invitation should expect their visas to be rejected.

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

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