CHINESE planning to visit Britain will soon be able to get a visa within a day, although this speedy service will cost 600 pounds (US$1,004).
This 24-hour turnaround will be launched in the summer, said UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) regional manager Dominique Hardy at the opening of a new visa application center in Shanghai yesterday.
In addition to the 600 pound cost of the optional super priority service there is the visa application fee. For general visitors, this is 83 pounds.
Currently, the three to five-day priority visa service costs 100 pounds, on top of the application fee.
Britain has seen a great increase in Chinese visitors in recent years, said Brian Davidson, the UK’S consul general in Shanghai.
Last year’s number of visa applications from Chinese nationals was up 31 percent on 2012 — the biggest growth in visitor visa applications to the UK, Davidson said.
In 2013, UKVI issued 291,919 visas to Chinese visitors, a 39 percent rise on the previous year.
The average time for processing a UK visa in China for 2013 was just over seven days, said Davidson.
Britain is upgrading its 12 visa application centers across China.