China / Hot Issues

Italy offers shorter visa issuance in Guangzhou

By Li Wenfang in Guangzhou ( Updated: 2014-03-18 16:21

The Consulate General of Italy in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, will begin a priority track, known as a green channel, for individual tourism visa applications from March 21, the office announced in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement said the decision takes into account the growing demand from Chinese to visit Italy and is in line with similar initiatives launched by the Italian Embassy in Beijing and the Italian Consulate General in Shanghai.

After reviewing visa applications from past years from tourist groups, the consulate general designated eight tour operators through which Chinese citizens can submit visa applications.

The citizens include those living in the provinces of Guangdong, Hunan, Fujian, Hainan and Jiangxi, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

The selected tour operators are CAISSA, CYTS, CITS, CTRIP, GZL International Travel Service, NANHU International Travel Service, Shunde International Travel Service and CTS Guangdong.

By using such tour operators, applicants can bypass individual interviews. The applications will have priority processing, with visas normally issued within 48 to 72 hours.

The statement said the consulate general "deems that such a measure will contribute to a change in the perception of the visa, which is usually identified as an obstacle for traveling to Italy. At the same time, the green channel represents a useful tool aimed at matching the ever rising and diversified needs of Chinese tourists."

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