- Visa Applications to be Simplified for Chinese Visitors
- October 16, 2013
- Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a three-step plan to streamline the visa application process for Chinese visitors.
The first of the initiatives is a pilot program permitting selected Chinese travel agents to apply for UK visas on behalf of Chinese nationals with the EU’s Schengen visa form, as long as the visa applicants wish to visit both the EU and the UK. The current procedure requires two separate applications, one each for the UK and the EU.
A new 24-hour “super priority” visa service will also become available next summer, although additional details about the service have not yet been announced. The UK already offers an optional five-day priority visa service in China for eligible tourists, business visitors and skilled workers.
Lastly, the VIP mobile visa service now operating in Beijing and Shanghai will expand to all of China. Users of the service do not have to visit a UK diplomatic post. Instead, UK visa teams go to applicants to collect their completed forms and biometric data. This process reportedly takes less than five minutes.