Quick, new press release – PM announces significant changes to visitor visas for Chinese tourists!
The following information can now be found on the GOV.UK website:
“From 2016, new visitor visas for tourists from China will be valid in the UK for 2 years, bringing significant benefits to the UK economy.
- Extension of standard visitor visas from 6 months to 2 years multiple entry and plans to introduce a new 10 year multiple entry visit visa for the same price
- Mobile fingerprinting service to be extended to an additional 50 cities to make it easier to apply for a visa
- Part of government’s ambition to strengthen UK-China relations for the benefit of the whole of Britain
The standard 6 month UK visitor visa currently costs £85. The new 2 year visitor visa and the 10 year visitor visa, when it is introduced, will cost the same as the standard visitor visa no matter how visits are made.”
This is on top of improvements the government has already made to the visa service for Chinese applications, see below what has already been improved:
- “Extending the reach of our popular on-demand mobile visa service in the country. This service allows customers the convenience of providing their biometric data at one of 17 locations of their choice rather than being required to travel to a visa application centre.
- Offering 2, 5 and 10 year visas to Chinese customers who travel frequently to the UK, including business visitors. In 2014 there was a 20% growth in demand for these visas.
- Upgrading our 12 visa application centres and offering out of working hours appointments.
- Extending our 3 to 5 day priority service.
- Introducing the passport pass-back service, allowing customers to apply for the UK and Schengen visa at the same time.
- The launch of a new online application form, with fewer questions, translated guidance and giving the option of pre-populating a Schengen form at the same time.
- Offering Premium service lounges in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou visa application centres, reducing waiting times for applicants and offering personalised assistance at every stage.
- Developing a dedicated team based in the British Embassy in Beijing which supports business, tourism and education sectors with their visa needs.
- Reducing documentary requirements for the Chinese government-endorsed Approved Destination Scheme (ADS) for Chinese tour groups and repeat travellers.
- In June 2015 the UK and Belgian governments announced a new pilot scheme to further streamline visa application processes for Chinese visitors to the UK, Belgium and the wider Schengen area. Under the new UK-Belgian Visitor Service, Chinese customers are able to submit visa applications for both countries during a single visit to a UK visa application centre (VAC). The new scheme means visitors from China are able to obtain a visa for both the UK and the Schengen area – of which the UK is not a part – without having to visit 2 different application centres.”
Visiting Britain will now be easier than ever for the people of China, which will only go towards making British shores a very attractive place to come.
VisitBritain is the name used by the British Tourist Authority to promote everything British and their website is getting more and more popular.
The Chancellor launched the next phase of VisitBritain’s ‘Culture is GREAT campaign’ in China to promote memorable moments visitors can only get in Britain. The campaign will invite Chinese visitors to create, share and upload images of their own experiences.
Known in China as ‘Enjoy the GREAT fun times in Britain,’ these images will be shared globally by VisitBritain to inspire fellow travellers to come and experience all that is GREAT about Britain.
The £1.3 million social media campaign aims to reach more than 100 million people.
While we wait for these much anticipated images, take a look below for some truly amazing sights to see in Britain.
(Photos supplied by diego_torres at Pixabay)