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China PU Letter

Business people traveling to China during the pandemic may be required to obtain a special PU invitation letter and documents to show the economic relevance of their business journey

The processes and criteria can differ slightly according to city and by district FAO (Foreign Affairs Office). This article is to provide an overview, but it remains necessary to contact the district FAO for precise instructions and the template documents.

What is a PU Letter?

The PU letter is the invitation letter that inviting entity needs in order to allow the invitee to apply for a visa in their respective country outside of China.

Important to note

The visa location on the PU is a specified. The invitee must thus determine the visa application location in advance, should the applicant be located in Italy they must apply at a Chinese consulate or embassy in Italy.

Which individuals require a PU

People unable to enter China as the Chinese consulate in the country that they are in doesn’t allow them to apply for the visa.

Reasons for application: Economic, trade, scientific and technological activities, as well as culture or sports purposes.

Exemptions to the requirement:

If the applicant has been vaccinated with a Chinese made vaccine that is recognised in the country, they are applying from.

Inviting Entity:

The inviting entity can be an administrative institution at any level, a social organization or enterprises (such as companies) registered in China.


The review typically takes between 2-6 weeks.

Documents required:

1. An application in writing by employer (template provided by the FAO)

2. The application form (template provided by the FAO)

3. Information Form (template provided by the FAO): (Inviting Entity’s Name (Chinese), Physical Address, Contact name / contact number Applicant name, nationality, passport number, date of birth, visa processing place, job description, proposed date of entry, Length of stay: (up to 180 days), Place of visa application: Country + city, Place of visit (an additional approval letter from the district FAO is required if the invitee is planning to visit other provinces and cities), Purpose: business trade / exchange visit

4. Inviting Entities Information Background Form (template provided by the FAO)

5. Scanned copy of invitee’s passport information page (valid for more than 6 months) & previous Visa pages in China

6. An application in writing by the inviting entity: Specify the needs, necessity and urgency of the invitation, the list of invited personnel (including name, work department, position); if dependents are invited separately, specify the situation of the business personnel in China and their company, and the necessity of inviting family members to come to China.

Documents required once the application is accepted:

1. Business license or other registration and approval materials of the inviting entity

2. Basic information of the latest commercial entity register

3. Customs declaration form (or foreign contact card) of the inviting entity’s foreign trade import and export

4. Guarantee commitment letter of the inviting unit signed by the legal representative or authorized person (a guarantee for liability that may incur if the infection is spread through the invited person)

5. ID cards of the legal person and agent of the inviting unit

6. Criminal record of the invitee

7. The last year’s tax certificate and tax Bureau location.

8. The annual report my also be requested.

9. Epidemic prevention & control plans of the inviting Entity in case the person being invited was infected (attention, onsite inspections may be requested)

10. Informed undertaking signed by the invitee

PU application process:

Contact the Chinese embassy in the country that invitee is in and confirm that they can issue a visa for the invitee if the inviting entity manages to receive the PU.

The inviting entity must apply either at the FAO sub-district office, or at the district competent authorities that oversee its industry (Commission of Commerce, Science and Technology Commission, Education Commission, etc.). This should be done in the district in which the inviting entity is registered.

The sub-district office, or district competent authorities will next submit the application to the inviting entity’s District Foreign Affairs Office (FAO). If the District FAO makes the determination that the invitee is essential to business operations, the District FAO will notify the inviting entity and forward the application to the City FAO. If further approved the application will be sent from the City FAO to the FAO of municipal government.

The City FAO will review the application and, if approved, will issue a visa notification to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Beijing and to the relevant Chinese Embassy or consulate in the country where the invitee is located.

The inviting entity should send a fax or scanned copy of this notification to the invitee, who will then present it at their local Chinese Embassy or consulate for visa application.


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