There has been much criticism over the United Kingdom’s delay in introducing a ten year visa for Chinese visitors to the country. Those promoting the idea have said that the introduction of the ten year visa would promote business between the two countries and create a significant amount of jobs. Since the Brexit vote the British government have been working hard to foster trade arrangements between countries outside the European Union. A ten year visa would go a long way towards fostering trade relations between the United Kingdom and China in these critical times. Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group stated that: ““It’s a missed opportunity that the trial launched a year ago, has still not begun. The US already has a standard 10 year visa which costs around £100 while Britain’s costs £800. The Government needs to match its rhetoric on China with action.” The supporters of the ten year visa report that in 2015 the top European destinations for Chinese visitors were surprisingly France and Italy and then the United Kingdom in third. Meanwhile these Chinese visitors spent more than twice as much per head than visitors from the United States. It is hoped that the ten year visa would not only drive Chinese visitors to the top of the list of European countries, overtaking France and Italy but also drive economic relations between the two countries, in return driving tourism and spend in the United Kingdom. As of January 2016, in a reciprocal visa arrangement between China and the UK, the Chinese Embassy and the UK issue two-year multi-entry visas to British nationals who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities or as a tourist. It is hoped that future less restrictive visa regulations will continue.
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