F visas are issued to foreigners invited to China on non-commercial exchanges, investigation or visits for scientific-technological, education, cultural exchanges, health or sports activities. In some instances business people who need to travel frequently in and out of China over a longer period may be granted a 12 month multiple entry F.
Over the years been the F visa has been used as a 'catch all' option.
Consular offices seem to have been willing to issue them relatively
easily and often for longer durations than a tourist L. It is not
permitted to work as an employee of a Chinese business in China while on
an F (there are a few exceptions such as working for a company funded
from overseas), but many people have done so, often with the full
knowledge of local officials. Saying this, some people have been
expelled for doing so.
2. Fully completed Application Form.
3. One recent passport photo. Full face, no hat, and against a plain, light background.
4. To obtain an F, you must have one of the following documents: Invitation Letter, Confirmation Letter of Invitation (with the invitation letter attached) or conference notice issued by relevant entity, individual or duly authorized Chinese institute. The invitation letter should include following information:
a. Information of the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
b. Information regarding the planned visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) of visit, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures)
c. Information about the inviting entity or individual (name, contact number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative of the entity or the inviting individual)
5. For a multiple entry F, copies of previous Chinese visas (on one A4 paper) are required.
Note: Under some circumstances,
2. Valid passport and a copy of information page.
3. One of following documents:
a. Invitation letter issued by the Chinese business or trade partner.
b. Invitation letter or confirmation letter of Invitation issued by duly authorized Chinese institutes or relevant units.
c. Invitation letter of Trade Fair.
d. Business License or Certificate approving the establishment of enterprise which shows the applicant as the enterprise's investor or owner.
4. For an application of a multiple entry M, copies of all previous Chinese visas (on one A-4 sized paper) should be attached.
How to Apply
You can submit your application to the consular office of Chinese embassies or consulates by yourself, or through a third party. The power of attorney is not required.
It regularly takes 4 working days for processing the application. However, the express service and rush service are also available if you want to pick up your visa earlier – it’s an extra US$30 for same-day collection or US$20 for the second or third day collection.
The fees vary according to your nationality, duration of visit, and number of entries. Generally speaking, the fee is higher if the number of entries is more.