Hogg Robinson Group, the corporate travel  company, is warning business travellers about  visa restrictions to China.

Business travellers to China have enjoyed relaxed visa regulations but due to the Beijing Olympics the Chinese authorities have tightened Visa controls because of security concerns.

These recent changes apply only to travellers to mainland China and Hong Kong continues to be exempt.

HRG’s executive vice president, James Stevenson, said: “Under new regulations, all travellers going to mainland China are now required to provide proof of flight and hotel booking prior to their visa application.

“Companies must now also obtain an official invitation from the Chinese Foreign Ministry on behalf of employees ahead of visa applications being made and explicitly request a multiple entry business visa if required.”

These latest requirements follow the outsourcing of all visa applications by the Chinese Embassy last month to the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC), which has been established to help process the increased number of visa requests.

New visa restrictions are temporary and are expected to be revised in the autumn.