Changes to visas for Chinese applicants
11 July 2014
The visa process for Chinese citizens wishing to visit and work in the UK has been simplified.
In recent years, there have been a number of calls to make it easier for Chinese leisure and business travellers to come to the UK - especially as they are the highest spending tourists in the world.
Chinese visitors can apply for a single Schengen visa that allows them to visit 26 European countries, but this does not include the UK. Under the relaxed visa requirements for Chinese nationals, they will be able to use their Schengen visas to visit the UK as well, and they can submit documents at one of the 12 visa application centres across China.
The series of changes were announced during a state visit to the UK by Ki Keqiang, China’s Prime Minister. The other changes are as follows:
· A premium 24-hour visa service will be available to Chinese nationals. This will cost £600.
· Chinese nationals with short-stay visas can use Irish visas to enter the UK, and vice versa.
· A simplified online application form will be available for independent travellers.
Home Secretary Theresa May said that these changes will "ensure it is easier than ever before to visit the UK and see first-hand everything this great country has to offer".
A spokesperson for the Confederation of British industry commented that "A well-functioning work permit and visa system is vital to ensuring that the UK is a vibrant hub for international trade, visitors and students", arguing that stronger links with China will be vital to the UK’s economic future.
Discussions are also underway regarding allowing Chinese visitors to apply for UK visas and Schengen visas at the same time through a single application process.
If you would like more information about applying for a UK visa, contact us