China begins issuing 2-year multiple-entry visas to UK nationals

14 Jan 16

CHINA, UNITED KINGDOM

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Under a reciprocal agreement with the United Kingdom, China has begun issuing two-year multiple-entry visas to U.K. nationals.

What does the change mean? U.K. business travelers will benefit by being able to visit China more frequently on the same visa and not have to renew their visas every six months or one year. The U.K. has also begun issuing similar longer-validity visas to Chinese nationals.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visitor visas.
  • Who is affected: U.K. nationals applying for visitor visas to China.
  • Impact on processing times: The processing time is five business days for standard processing or three business days for express service.
  • Business impact: The agreement facilitates business travel between China and the U.K., especially for frequent travelers.
  • Next steps: Chinese consulates in the U.K. are now issuing the new two-year multiple-entry visas.

Background: China and the U.K. agreed to the longer-validity visas in the fall of 2015 and both countries began accepting applications Monday.

The two countries are also working toward future implementation of 10-year multiple-entry visas.

BAL Analysis: The visas will ease business travel to China for U.K. visitors making repeat trips during a two-year period. The Chinese visas allow stays of up to 90 days for each entry and do not limit the number of entries during the two-year validity period. Travelers are reminded that the longer validity does not change the duration of stay, and each visit should not exceed the duration of stay indicated on the visa.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in China. For additional information, please contact china@balglobal.com.

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