26 Oct PM Announces China Visitor Visa Reforms
On 21 October 2015, David Cameron announced the significant changes to visitor visas for Chinese tourists for the purpose of boosting the UK economy. From January 2016, new multiple entry visitor visas for tourists will be valid for 2 years, rather than 6 months, and will allow a migrant to stay in the UK for up to 6 months in each 12 month period.
According to the UKVI, Chinese tourists contribute approximately £500 million every year to the UK economy to make the most of all retails opportunities. Further, every Chinese visitor spends an average of £2,688 for each visit, and the extension of the visa will facilitate them to maximise their spending power even further.
The UK Government has already made some improvements to the visa service for Chinese customers; for example, it is now possible to apply for 2 to 10 years multiple entry visitor visas to those who travel frequently to the UK (including business visitors). They also introduced 3 to 5 day priority service for processing of the applications and established dedicated team in Beijing in order to support visitor and student visas application processes. In addition, the existing 12 visa centres in China offer out of working hours appointments for the applicants.
The new reforms are beneficial for both Chinese tourists and the UK economy. From 2016, the new service will provide convenience for Chinese customers and promote the economic growth further.
If you are currently concerned about your application to enter the UK as a visitor or wish to seek expert legal advice, please email us at [email protected].