Priority UK visas to be offered to Chinese from next month

29 Jul 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

People from China looking to come to Britain will be able to access priority UK visas from next month, with changes due to come into effect from midAugust.

UK immigration and security minister James Brokenshire is currently touring China and is in Beijing to promote the new UK visa options and services to tourists and businesses in the area.

Among the changes he is highlighting is the availability of a new 24 hour UK visa service that will be on offer to most people looking for visitor or work visas. People in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghair will be able to access the service should they wish.

Mr Brokenshire commented: "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.

"We want to make sure that we offer our Chinese customers a world class service and we will continue to make improvements so that our visa system is as efficient as possible, while at the same time protecting British borders."

The changes will be of significant importance given that China is already the UK's largest visa market with demand for visitor visas up by 40 per cent in the last year alone.

In addition to the introduction of the one-day turnaround visa service, the Home Office is working on a number of other improvements to visa access in China. These include the extension of the existing three to five day priority service; the introduction of the passport pass-back service that allows customers to apply for a UK visa and a Schengen visa at the same time; the reduction in document requirements for Chinese government-endorsed Approved Destination Scheme Chinese tour groups and repeat travellers and the launch of a new online application form that will provide a simpler service.