How to Apply for a PU Invitation Letter in Shanghai


Table of Contents

Written by
Fancy Fan – HR Specialist

Since the temporary entry suspension into China by foreign nationals as a measure against Covid-19, the epidemic situation in the country is now basically under control.

At a global level, most countries have been classified as low-risk areas and China is negotiating with other countries to establish fast track channels allowing the entry of foreigners.

As far as we learned, the invitation letter (PU) application has no nationality limits, and the application process time normally will last for around one month.

So, after many months, employees and foreign family members can start to apply for the PU invitation letter in Shanghai!

Below we explain what are the categories of foreigners that can apply and the procedure.

Invitation Letter (PU) for Employees

Up to date, foreigners wishing to re-enter China are required to first receive the approval of the Invitation Form (PU Letter) in order to request the issuance of a Chinese Visa.

The Invitation Form is provided by the company in China.

The reasons that meet the requirements (for the detailed application requirements, please have your company check directly with the local district foreign affairs office) of the Invitation Form (PU Letter) are divided into the following categories:

  • Exchange, visit, inspection, etc
  • Commercial and trade activities
  • Other reasons

However, we want to specify that the final result will be decided by the Foreign Affairs Office (FAO) of Shanghai.

Invitation Letter (PU) for Family Members

The company can directly apply for the PU letter for the foreign family member (if the employer is Shanghai, but the family member is still outside of China).

Reasons to apply can be:

  • Kids need to study
  • Wife/Husband needs to take care of each other


Below you can find the procedure to apply for the PU letter in Shanghai:

  1. After you complete the materials required, send them by email to the responsible person of the District FAO (Foreign Affairs Office) where the company is registered;
  2. The FAO of the district will call to verify the background of the company and the foreign employee or family member;
  3. After the first reading, the FAO of the district will transfer the materials to the Municipal Foreign Affairs Office;
  4. Municipal Foreign Affairs Office will revise the document and make the final decision to issue or not the PU letter.


After months of closure for foreign expats, China is reopening the borders if you meet specific requirements.

HROne can only help in case foreign expats are already employed by a company in China.

For more detailed information, we suggest you to check with your company in China for more detailed information about the requirements.

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