In a trade trip to China, Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans for simplifying visa applications for tens of thousands of Chinese businessmen and tourists. The UK government hope that by relaxing the UK visa rules for the Chinese, it will boost the number of visitors to the UK and more Chinese companies will be persuaded to invest in the UK.
Chinese Businessmen & Visitors to the EU and UK
It is thought that Chinese visitors are the world’s most valuable tourists, spending a total of $102bn on their global travels in 2012. Research shows that France receives at least 25% more Chinese tourists each year than Britain. Therefore, it is no surprise that the UK government intends to relax its stringent visa rules for some businessmen and visitors to the UK.
It is estimated that in 2012, 210,000 visas were issued to visiting Chinese nationals who went on to contribute around £300m to the British economy. The news of UK visa rules being relaxed will be welcomed by businesses in the UK who have complained that the existing regime is discouraging high-spending Chinese visitors from coming to Britain.
Visa Rules to be Streamlined & Simplified for Chinese Businessmen & Tourist
The UK’s visa process will be simplified in the following ways:
- Chinese visitors to the EU will not need to submit separate visa applications for the UK. Selected travel agents will be able to apply for UK visas by submitting just the visa form for entry to EU’s Schengen area (which the UK is not a part of);
- A new 24 hour ‘super-priority’ visa service will become available from next year; and
- Officials are looking into expanding a VIP mobile visa service, currently operating in Beijing and Shanghai to the whole country. This service involves visa teams going out to applicants to collect their completed forms and biometric data with the whole process taking less than five minutes.
UK Investment: George Osborne Encourages Chinese Students
Speaking to students in Beijing, Chancellor George Osborne told students in Beijing that there were already 130,000 Chinese students in the UK. He encouraged them to also follow in their footsteps and stated:
“Let me make this clear to you and the whole of China. There is no limit to the number of Chinese who can study in Britain. No limit to the number of Chinese tourists who can visit. No limit on the amount of business we can do together.”
Successful UK Visa Applications for Visitors & Businessmen
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making visa applications to the UK step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.
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