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I am a citizen of Uzbekistan, and I want to travel to China for a week from Japan. I work in Japan as a software engineer.

I checked the required documents (for visa type L, tourist), and it said that I had to have my flight reservations and hotel bookings, and only then apply. So I booked everything and went to the China Visa centre in my city in Japan.

The lady there told me that since I am a citizen of Uzbekistan, I need to provide an official invitation letter with a scannable barcode on it. I asked her how I could get it, but she would not help. I contacted 3 different agencies in China by now, and all of them said they can provide that invitation letter only for type M (commerce and trade visa) and for the business visa. Does anyone know where I can find an agency that can help me get this document? I emailed the Chinese embassy in Japan a few times a week ago, but never got a reply.

Should I just apply for the commerce and trade visa? Or was the lady wrong and a normal invitation letter from a Chinese national (friend of mine) do?

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As @jpatokal mentioned in the comments, the visa center worker seems to be mistaken. The visas that have been affected in this change are Z work visas, M business visas, and F exchange visit visas. The normal letter from your friend will be enough, I suggest you make another appointment and if you run into the same problem ask to speak to management.

Balglobal states:

Visas/permits affected: F, M and Z visas.

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