The Minister for Immigration and Security has been visiting China this week and has announced new improvements to the UK visa system for applicants. The new measures are designed to promote the UK’s visa service to key tourism and business partners.
Mobile biometric service to be rolled out further
The mobile biometric service, currently available in Shanghai and Beijing, will be rolled out to all 12 of the regions served by UKVI’s visa application centres.
24 hour visa service to be available for most visit and work visas
In addition, the Minister has announced that the 24 hour Super Priority Visa will be available to customers in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The 24 hour service will be open to customers applying for the majority of UK visit visa and work visa categories.
- Upgrading the 12 visa application centres in China and offering out of working hours appointments;
- Extending the three to five day priority service (used by over 7,000 people in June 2014);
- Introducing the passport pass-back service, allowing customers to apply for the UK and Schengen visa at the same time;
- The launch of a new online application form, with fewer questions, translated guidance and giving the option of pre-populating a Schengen form at the same time;
- Offering Premium service lounges in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou visa application centres, reducing waiting times for applicants and offering personalised assistance;
- Developing a dedicated team based in the British Embassy in Beijing which supports business, tourism and education sectors with their visa needs;
- Reducing documentary requirements for the Chinese government-endorsed Approved Destination Scheme (ADS) for Chinese tour groups and repeat travellers.