The UK is to relax some visa rules in a bid to attract more wealthy Chinese visitors to the country.
Speaking on a trade trip to China, British chancellor George Osborne said that visa applications for Chinese visitors entering the UK will be simplified, while a new, 24-hour ‘super-priority’ visa service will be introduced next summer.
For the first time, Chinese applicants will now be able to submit just one form covering them for both Britain and the EU Schengen agreement countries through selected travel agents. Previously multiple forms had to be filled in.
“Not every country in the world is happy to see foreign investment, including Chinese investment,” explained the Chancellor yesterday. “There are some countries, including some in Europe, who think the answer to the global race is to erect trade barriers and find all sorts of ways of making it clear that Chinese investment is not welcome.
“Britain is not one of those countries.”
He continued: “Indeed, I would go as far as to say that there is no country in the West that is more open to investment – especially investment from China – than the United Kingdom is.”
Osborne also told Chinese students yesterday that there is absolutely no limit on the number of students who can come to study in the country. “We already have 130,000 Chinese students like you studying in Britain,” he said. “I want more of you to come. And more Chinese visitors too.
“Let me make this clear to you and to the whole of China. There is no limit to the number of Chinese who can study in Britain. No limit to the number of Chinese tourists who can visit. No limit on the amount of business we can do together.”
Article published 15th October 2013