Immigration Changes from Around the World

CHINA | Invitation Letter Requirements for Business Visas ChangingShanghai-China-skyline-2-keyimage
Immigration authorities processing applications for business (M) visas to the cities of Beijing and Shanghai appear to be loosening the standards for the required letters of invitation. Consulates have begun accepting letters issued by the private Chinese company inviting the foreign national rather than requiring the letter of invitation be issued by a governmental authority. This should result in shorter processing times for M visas for business travelers headed to China’s two largest cities, as they may now simply obtain their invitation letter from the sponsoring local company rather than wait for the company to request and receive the invitation letter from a government authority.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce, the Pudong District Foreign Affairs Office, and the Shanghai Municipal Commission have all reportedly stopped issuing invitation letters. The Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office has said that it will continue to issue letters of invitation for applicants of some countries where the consular post is requiring it.


IRELAND | New Online Residence Registration Appointment System in Dublinireland-landscape
A new online scheduling system for residence registrations went live September 8 for Burgh Quay in the Dublin metropolitan area. The former process of ticketing for appointments through a queue ended September 14. Non-European Union and non-European Economic Area foreign nationals arriving in Ireland who will be residing in Dublin City, Dublin County, and portions of adjoining counties must now go online at and schedule their registration appointment. While the timeframe to register previously had been 90 days, the timeframe is now reportedly being shortened to 30 days by officials at the port of entry. Arriving foreign nationals are encouraged to check their specific registration deadline marked in their passports and schedule their registration appointment as soon after arriving as possible.

The new appointment website offers appointments in one-hour time slots each day, allowing users to select a convenient time. Once the appointment is booked, users receive a confirmation email which they are encouraged to bring to their appointment along the required documents specified in the email.