UK to introduce two-year multiple-entry visa for Chinese tourists
Government officials in the UK have announced a new two-year visa for Chinese nations wishing to visit the country.
Beginning on Monday, it will enable visitors from China to make multiple trips to the UK for longer periods, the government said in a statement.
As well as tourists, the new visa will be available for business people to attend conferences or to investigate setting up a business.
Foreign secretary Philip Hammond confirmed the new arrangements during an official visit to Beijing.
British visitors to China will also get the same visa arrangement, which will cost £85.
This is the same price as the six-month visitor visa that Chinese and UK tourists are currently limited to.
Hammond said: “It is designed to make it easier for Chinese business people, for Chinese tourists to visit the UK and we hope that it will herald the beginning of a far higher level of interchange and exchange between our two peoples.”
The foreign secretary added Britain hoped to extend the two-year visa to a ten-year multiple entry at some point in the future.”
“That remains our aspiration and we will work with our Chinese partners towards it,” he said.
The number of Chinese visitors has almost trebled over the last five years from 115,000 in 2009 to 336,000 in 2014 with each spending on average £2,688 every time they visit, the Foreign Office said.