Britain is going to make it easier for Chinese nationals to obtain visas in an effort to boost business between the two countries.


Finance Minister George Osborne who is in China leading a British trade delegation, says the new measures will help the tens of thousands of Chinese visitors hoping to visit Britain.

“Have announced new measures to simplify + speed up visa applications for visitors from #China,” the minister wrote on his official Twitter account.

“Good for tourism and British business.”

According to extracts of a speech due to be delivered at Peking University later on Monday, Osborne will claim that the changes “will streamline and simplify the visa application process”.

Under the proposals,

Business people will also be able to apply for a “super-priority” visa, which will be processed within 24-hours rather than a week.

Osborne will also formally announce that the government is looking at rolling out nationwide its “mobile visa service”, currently being piloted in Beijing and Shanghai.

The service – aimed at business executives – enables visa teams to go to applicants’ workplaces to collect their forms and biometric data.

Some 210,000 visas were issued to Chinese nationals in 2012, adding around STG300 million ($A511.64 million) to the British economy.

The minister is trying to win over a Chinese government that has rebuffed Britain due to a meeting last year between Prime Minister David Cameron and the Dalai Lama.

Osborne was to say his visit was “the next big step” in UK-Sino relations and also insist “there is no country in the west more open to investment – especially from China” than Britain.

“I don’t want Britain to resent China’s success, I want us to celebrate it,” he will say.

“I don’t want us to try to resist your economic progress, I want Britain to share in it.

“Because more jobs and investment in China mean more jobs and investment in Britain. And that equals better lives for all,” he will add.