An invitation letter is sometimes required by the People's Republic of China when applying for a Chinese Tourist Visa or "L" type visa. The letter is a document inviting the person applying for the visa to visit China. There is specific information required by the letter.
Do I Need an Invitation Letter?
Determining whether or not you need an invitation is somewhat difficult. At the time of writing in 2015, the website of the People's Republic of China's Embassy in Washington DC states "Documents showing the itinerary including air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation, etc. or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China..." It then goes on to state what information is required in the letter.
Sample Invitation Letter
Format your letter as a standard business letter.
At the top right add the sender's contact information (the person or company doing the inviting. This should be a person or company in China):
- The sender's name
- The sender's address
- The sender's address (line 2)
- The sender's telephone contact
Next, on the left side of the page add the recipient's contact information (the person applying for the visa):
- The recipient's name
- The recipient's address
- The recipient's address (line 2)
- The recipient's telephone number
Next, add the date. Make sure the date is before the visa applicant's visa application date.
Next, add the greeting. For example, "Dear Sara,"
Next, add the body of the letter.
Here is an example based on a father going to China to visit his daughter and her family:
This is an invitation letter to visit our family in Shanghai during the month of December, to enjoy the Christmas holidays with us. Per the instructions on the website of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China located in the United States of America, for obtaining your visa, below is the information that is required for the instruction letter:
- Information on the applicant for the visa to visit family in China: [insert name] | [insert gender] | [insert date of birth].
- Information on the visit: you, [insert relationship to the person doing the inviting, e.g. "my biological father"], are coming to visit us for the purpose of staying with us and enjoying the holidays at our home in Beijing. Your plan is to arrive in Beijing on December 8 and depart on December 30, 2014. We plan to stay in Beijing during your visit with us. Expenditures for your visit will be covered either by you or by us.
- Information on the inviting individual: I am [insert relationship of the sender to the recipient of the letter, e.g. "your biological daughter"]. My name is [insert name]. I was born on [insert date of birth]. My telephone number in Beijing is [insert telephone number]. Our address is [insert address]. Other details can be found in my passport regarding passport information and visa information. A photocopy is enclosed here.
Finally, add the closing, e.g. "Sincerely, [insert name]"
Other Information to Enclose
It is advisable that the person sending the invitation provides a copy of the photo and main information page from his or her passport. The person sending the invitation letter should also provide a copy of the residence visa (granting them permission to reside in China) that is inside their passport.