UK Improvements to the Visa System in China
Two new improvements have been announced to the UK’s visa system in China recently that are set to make it easier for Chinese citizens to obtain a UK visa, as well as making them easier to apply for from within China.
There are currently twelve UK visa offices in China and, as part of the new changes, all of these locations will now have the ‘mobile biometric service’ available to customers, which was previously only available to those visiting the locations in Beijing and Shanghai. This service gives applicants who might not be able to find the time to visit the visa office the option to have the mobile service visit them to collect their biometric data from their home or workplace, which is much more convenient and serves to make the visa application process easier and less time-consuming for Chinese applicants.
The second improvement centres around timescales. For an additional fee, a new 24 hour premium visa service will now be available to Chinese applicants for the majority of work visa and visit visa applications. Labelled ‘The 24-Hour Super Priority Service’, this option will be available to those applying for their UK visa through the Shanghai, Beijing or Guangzhou visa offices.
With requests for UK visas for both work and visit purposes from China increasing by over 40% in the last year, it is no wonder that the UK government has decided to take measures to enhance the ease of application for Chinese visa applicants.
China is also an increasingly prominent player on the international business scene, and it is speculated that these changes have come in response to a recent comment made by the Chinese ambassador to the UK. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming stated back in June that the UK could face missing out on potential Chinese investment. The ambassador hinted that the difficulties faced by Chinese investors when applying for their relevant UK investor visas was putting them off visiting, and thus investing money into, the UK.
If you are a Chinese national and you are interested in how you can use these new changes to your advantage, then get in touch with one of our immigration experts today for further information.