Visa System to Attract Chinese Visitors to UK


The UK is China’s second biggest trade partner in Europe after Germany and an ever increasing number of wealthy Chinese visitors chose to visit Britain each year -reaching a record number of visitors to London (second destination of choice after Paris) in 2013. As such, this move is really a natural progression and a no-brainer in bilateral agreements, which in our humble view should have come earlier. However, it is here now and below we recap on how it is meant to operate and what the Home Office intends to introduce to make travel to the UK easier and more inviting to Chinese business and regular visitors alike:

  • A 24-hour “super priority” service for important Chinese business visitors
  • This service will be available from August and will cost £600 for the fast-track service.
  • A scheme to enable tourists to apply for a British visa at the same time as one for the Schengen area, which allows travel to other EU countries who are part of the Schengen agreement.
  • Visitors will be able to use the same website to apply for both a British and a Schengen visa.
  • The scheme, under which details recorded for a Schengen application can be automatically transferred onto the British forms is currently only available to those travelling to the UK in an organised tour group.
  • It is foreseen and planned that in future, the scheme will also be available and apply to independent travellers.

Additionally, the Home Office has announced that the visa website will have improved translated guidance on how to fill in the application. New tablet and mobile apps will be introduced in future to allow travelers to apply more easily on devices of their choice.



Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

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