A range of new UK visa services for individuals willing to pay a premium or looking for priority treatment are due to be launched in China this month.
From April 29th, UK visa customers in China will be able to access Passport Passback services, the new VIP Mobile Visa Service, an extended level of coverage for the Priority Visa Service and an extended service for Priority Visa Services to PBS Tier 2 Applications.
The new VIP Mobile Visa Service may be of particular interest to busy people who don't have much time to organise their immigration papers before travelling. The service essentially allows people to apply for a UK visa without visiting an official centre. Essentially, officers will visit the applicant at their place of work and gather their visa application information from them along with any required biometric data.
Making use of the Priority Visa Service is another option for those in a rush. It allows people to make an application with a five working day turnaround. In addition to existing centres, this is now being rolled out to the centres at Wuhan, Jinan, Shenyang, Chongqing and Chengdu. It will cost an additional RMB 260 for ADS visas and RMB 520 for other categories.
The other services, such as the Passport Passback option, are also designed to make the application process more convenient for travellers from China. The passback service means that applicants can keep hold of their passport while the rest of the UK visa application is processed, so they can use it for any other administrative tasks that might crop up, or to apply for other countries' visas without having to wait.
While the new services will add some extra costs on to UK visa applications, they should go some way to helping make the process simpler and more convenient, hopefully encouraging more people from China to do business with Britain.