China Visa Requirements for U.S. Citizens

Note: Non-U.S. residents must obtain a visa by applying through the Chinese Embassy in their country of residence.

You will need to obtain a Chinese visa in order to attend the Summit. Normally, this process does not take more than a few weeks. If you are new to this process, we would encourage you to use any of a number of passport and visa assistance agencies that are available on the web.

  1. Passport: You must have a valid U.S. passport (effective date should be six months beyond the dates of your visit to China). You will be required to mail your passport along with the documents outlined below to obtain your Chinese visa.
  2. Passport Photo: a 2 X 2 inch passport photo to attach to your visa application will be required.
  3. Passport Application: A Chinese passport application can be downloaded from any number of visa and passport service agencies.
  4. Invitation Letter: You will need an invitation letter from your Chinese host. If you work for a company with China-based operations, you can obtain one from the appropriate office of your China facility. If your company does not have operations in China, contact Gina Brandon at SAE International (
  5. We can arrange an invitation letter for you from our co-sponsors, CATARC or SAE-China. Please e-mail Please provide a scanned copy of the identification page of your passport.
  6. Copy of your intended flight itinerary (optional). You can usually make tentative flight arrangements well in advance, and confirm or change them later as conditions require.
  7. If obtaining a business visa, provide a Business Cover Letter: This is a letter from your employer, on company letterhead, indicating that you are attending the Congress on company business. In it, your employer must accept ultimate responsibility for any expenses you incur while you are visiting China.

Once you have these documents in hand, you (or the agency you are using) will send them to the appropriate Chinese Consulate for processing and approval. There is a Chinese Consulate fee and a fee charged by the visa or passport agency if you use one.

Once you make the decision to attend the Congress, you should:

  1. Register for the Congress
  2. Make your hotel reservations with the Shanghai Marriott Hongqiao Hotel
  3. Make your initial flight reservations (you don't need to finalize right away).
  4. Submit your Visa Application and above materials either to the appropriate Chinese Consulate or to the visa agency assisting you.