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Embassies Announce Measures to Simplify Visa Application Process

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Visa process for employees and their family members of US firms entering China will be simplified, said the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) on Friday. 

This came after a number of Chinese embassies and foreign affair offices issued notices on improving visa policies for foreigners recently.

▲A notice posted in the Chinese embasssy in Singapore.

AmCham China confirmed China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of removing the requirement to obtain a PU letter, or invitation letter, before applying for certain types of visas at relevant Chinese embassies or consulates abroad, according to a notice AmCham China sent to its members seen by the reporters on Friday.

▲A notice posted by the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia.

"This will simplify the visa process for many of our members and their family dependents," said AmCham China.

As of now, only a handful of Chinese embassies around the world, including SingaporeIndonesia and South Korea, have posted notices on their websites to this effect but China's Foreign Ministry has confirmed to AmCham China that this policy will soon be rolled out globally, so the chamber expects it will be announced by the Chinese embassy in the US and elsewhere over the coming days.

Certain categories of foreign travelers will no longer be required to apply for a PU Letter from Monday, including those foreigners who hold a valid Notification Letter of Foreigner's Work Permit and their dependents - spouse and children under 18, news medias reported on Tuesday. 

A PU letter is issued by the relevant Foreign Affairs Office and is a document that foreigners must receive before applying for several types of visas to enter China. The administrative fee for each PU letter application is 7,000 yuan ($1,099).

Foreign nationals coming to China for other reasons, including business (M) visas will still need to apply for a PU letter, which "can be done through the AmCham China Fast-Track Travel Channel Program," AmCham China said.

The Fast-Track Travel Channel Program came into force on January 6, 2022, which allows for US businesspeople and their families to travel more easily to China amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The American business community in China welcomes this development, which comes after strong lobbying by AmCham China at all levels of the relevant Chinese government authorities, most recently during our meetings with Premier Li Keqiang and Commerce Minister Wang Wentao," said Colm Rafferty, Chairman of AmCham China, on Friday, to AmCham China members.

There are also reports that more US-to-China flights will soon be approved, Rafferty added.

Reference: GlobalTimes, Chinese Embassy in Singapore, Chinese Embassy in Indonesia



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