Business / Industries

New UK visa center for Beijing

By YAO JING ( Updated: 2014-04-23 17:39

Britain unveiled a new visa application center in Beijing on Wednesday, part of the largest-ever investment in its visa application center network in China.

The move comes amid heightened interest from Chinese tourists in visiting the United Kingdom.

The Beijing center has doubled in size, increased its capacity, and the changes will reduce waiting times for customers.

All 12 of the UK's visa centers in China have been refurbished, expanded and upgraded to prepare for another record year of visa applications expected in 2014 and beyond.

Last year, the UK saw a record number of visa applications from Chinese nationals, which rose by 31 percent from the previous year. Growth in demand for tourist visas was even higher, up by 39 percent.

"The UK is listening to the needs of valued customers in China. These changes will improve our service by increasing the capacity of our centers and improve access to our premium and priority services," said British Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.

Last year, Britain processed more than 380,000 applications from Chinese nationals, and 96 percent of the applications were successful.

In addition to Beijing, the UK has application centers in Chengdu, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen and Wuhan.

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