Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, since 2020, the Chinese government has maintained strict limitations on the entry of foreigners into China for nearly 3 years. During this period, foreigners intending to work in China (not including foreigners who already have a Chinese working residence permit) have to obtain a PU Letter issued by the local government in China (different from the Invitation Letter issued by the company itself).

Only after a foreigner obtains the PU letter can they apply for a working visa to enter China. However, the requirements to apply for a PU letter are generally strict for companies and the procedures considerably time-consuming.

We have recently received oral confirmation from the Foreign Affairs Office of Shanghai that due to the recent policy change, certain foreigners now do not have to obtain a PU letter for the application process of a working visa. E-mail correspondence with several Chinese Consulates abroad have also confirmed this information. This means, the entire procedure of applying for a working visa will be similar to the stipulations set before 2020.

As some foreign affairs offices in other provinces have not yet confirmed this information and we have not found any official notification published online at the time of writing, companies with such needs should firstly communicate with the local foreign affairs office and the corresponding Chinese Consulate to check whether the PU Letter is still required.