Beijing denies suspension of issuing invitation for business visa

2008-07-28 12:11:06 GMT       2008-07-28 20:11:06 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Beijing authority on Monday denied foreign media report that it had stopped issuing official invitation letters for business visas to foreigners.

"Some foreign media reported that the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce (BMBC) had stopped issuing official invitation letters, known as notification letters, needed for business visas, but the fact is we never did so," Zhao Hui, a BMBC official, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

"We handled about 150 applications every day this month, up 52 percent as against the same period of last year," he said.

China made adjustment to its visa policy in April in line with international practice in an effort to ensure security for the Olympics, foreign affairs officials have stressed, promising justifiable visa applications will be approved.

The new requirements, which include providing invitation letters, certificates of relatives, proof of reserved accommodation and/or round-trip air tickets, based on applicants' differing situations, did not mean the suspension of multiple-entry visas.

According to Foreign Ministry statistics, China issued 6.51 million visas to foreigners in 2005, 7.4 million in 2006, and 8.13million in 2007.

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