In the continuing drive to court Chinese business and tourism the UK and Belgian Governments have announced a new pilot scheme to better facilitate the visa application processes for Chinese visitors to their respective shores.
Whilst this may on first blush appear to be a somewhat “random” alliance, visa entry into Belgium then permits further travel into the “Schengen Area”, which is essentially the 25 countries within the European Economic Area excluding the UK and Eire.
According to the Home Secretary, Theresa May:
“This scheme will create a one-stop shop for Chinese visitors to the UK and Europe, whether they are coming here for business or leisure”.
Under the new UK-Belgian Visitor Service, from 1 July 2015 Chinese customers will be able to submit visa applications for both countries during a single visit to UK visa application centres in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.