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UKinbound welcomes pilot scheme to streamline visa process for Chinese visitors

From July 1 2015, the UK-Belgian Visitor Service will allow Chinese customers to submit their visa applications for both countries during a single visit to a UK visa application centre (VAC). The new scheme means visitors from China will be able to obtain a visa for both the UK and wider Schengen area – of which the UK is not a part – without having to visit two different application centres.

The UK and Belgian governments announced a new pilot scheme to further streamline visa application processes for Chinese visitors to the UK, Belgium and the wider Schengen area. The decision has been welcomed by UKinbound as the scheme is set to encourage larger numbers of Chinese visitors to the UK.
 
From July 1 2015, the UK-Belgian Visitor Service will allow Chinese customers to submit their visa applications for both countries during a single visit to a UK visa application centre (VAC).
 
The new scheme means visitors from China will be able to obtain a visa for both the UK and wider Schengen area – of which the UK is not a part – without having to visit two different application centres.
 
The service is the latest in a series of initiatives to make it easier for tourists from around the world to visit the UK as well as the Schengen area. Customers will be able to pay for UK and Belgian visa applications online – using just one set of supporting documents – then book a single UK visa appointment to complete the process.
 
The launch of the UK-Belgian Visitor Service reflects one of the key recommendations of UKinbound’s #TourismABC campaign, launched to prompt greater consideration from the Government for this highly valuable industry. One of UKinbound’s asks to the Government is to Commit to tourism by improving the competitiveness of the UK’s visa system and making the UK more accessible. This pilot scheme will further support UKinbound’s goal to encourage visitor numbers and larger economic benefit for years to come.
 
UKinbound’s Chief Executive Officer, Deirdre Wells OBE, comments: “UKinbound is delighted to welcome today’s announcement of a one-stop shop for applications for Schengen and UK visas from China. Improving the Visa process is a key priority for our tour operators, and is therefore extremely welcome.
 
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