UK to relax visa rules for Chinese visitors
Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to simplify visas for Chinese travellers visiting the UK.
As reported by Business Traveller last year (see China Crisis), the UK lags behind most of its European competitors in attracting Chinese visitors, due at least in part to complicated visa requirements and the need for travellers to apply for a separate visa to that required to visit all 26 European treaty area countries (including Germany, France and Italy).
During a trade trip to China Osborne announced plans to relax and simplify the visa process. They include removing the need for Chinese nationals to apply for a separate visa, providing trips are booked with selected travel agents.
A mobile visa scheme already in operation in Beijing and Shanghai will also be extended, and a new 24-hour “super-priority” visa service will be introduced next year.
According to the UK government 210,000 visas were issued to Chinese national last year, with visits contributing around £300 million to the UK economy.
Tirana1 - 14/10/2013 16:10
There are no such schemes proposed for other key economies where the UK's myopic obsession with immigration issues gets in the way of conducting international business, to the detriment of UK plc eg obtaining visas for Russian and other former Soviet Union clients to visit UK remains a slow and painful lottery.
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