Personal Immigration

Changes to the Visa System in China

The Government has recently announced a number of improvements to the UK visa system in China, as part of measures to promote the UK’s visa service to key tourism and business partners.

The improvements include making the mobile biometric service, which allows customers to give their fingerprints and details to visa staff in offices, available at all 12 of the Chinese regions served by the UK’ visa application centres.

The service has apparently already been successful in Shanghai and Beijing, with customers complimenting the service for being convenient and easy to use.

The Government also announced that the 24 hour Super Priority Visa would be available to customers in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The 24 hour service, only available for UK visas, will be open to customers applying for the majority of visit visa and work visa categories.

“China is the UK’s largest visa market and the number of business travellers and tourists we welcome continues to grow – demand for visitor visas increased by 40% in the last year alone,” explained Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire.

“We already offer an excellent visa service in China and through the 24 hour visa service and the expansion of mobile biometrics, business visitors will be able to apply for their visas more quickly and easily,” he added.

Other recent improvements to the visa service include:

  • Upgrading the 12 visa application centres and offering out of working hours appointments;
  • Extending the three to five day priority service (used by over 7,000 people In June 2014 alone);
  • Introducing the passport pass-back service, allowing customers to apply for UK and Schengen visa at the same time;
  • 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.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.

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