UK Improves Visa Processing In China

By Haruna Kobayashi, for 11 August, 2014

The UK is to expand the availability of its mobile biometric service to the 12 regions in China with visa application centers. It will introduce a 24-hour service in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou for most visit and work visas.

James Brokenshire, the UK's Immigration and Security Minister, said that China is the UK's largest visa market, and that demand has increased by 40 percent in the last year. He explained: "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 mobile biometric service allows customers to give their fingerprints and details to visa staff at these offices. The UK says that it has already proven successful in Shanghai and Beijing.

The new moves follow other recent improvements. All 12 visa application centers have been upgraded, and there are now premium service lounges in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou with reduced waiting times and which offer personalized assistance at every stage. Appointments are now available out of hours, and the three- to five-day priority visa service has been extended.

There is also a passport pass-back service, which allows customers to apply for a UK and Schengen visa at the same time, and a new online application form, with fewer questions, translated guidance and an option to have the Schengen form pre-populated. Also, the Chinese Government-endorsed Approved Destination Scheme (ADS) for Chinese tour groups and repeat travelers now requires applicants to furnish fewer documents.

Tags: China | United Kingdom | Expats | Visas And Passports |


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