There’s a good start to 2016 for both the UK tourism business and for Chinese visitors to Britain – from January the government is introducing a new two year visa for Chinese visitors to the UK.

Four times the usual six-month standard visa limit, the British government is hoping the new visa will boost UK businesses even further than the current £500 million that Chinese visitors spend per year in the UK.

The numbers of Chinese visitor visas have trebled in the last five years, and the two-year visa is designed to help Chinese customers who wish to make multiple visits but don’t want to be inconvenienced by having to apply for a new visa every six months. A new 10-year multiple visit visa will also be piloted in the near future.

With the massive rise of Chinese international business, the new visa will also mean a positive change for Chinese business people who need to make several visits to the UK to set up business deals or meet with potential UK partners.

Most Chinese visitors also stay a lot longer than other foreign visitors. In order to get the most out of their trip, a Chinese visitor will stay on average for around 10 nights on a UK visit, compared to the usual six nights spent by visitors from other countries.Tourism is worth more than £26 billion to the UK economy. On average, a Chinese visitor will spend almost £3,000 per visit, so the new visa will considerably help to increase that income to the UK. In terms of employment that means one new job created in Britain for every 22 visitors from China.

The standard six month visitor visa currently costs £85. The new 2 year visitor visa will cost the same as the standard visitor visa, no matter how visits are made. So whichever way you look at it, the new visa will be generating income on both sides of the world in 2016.

For more information on how to open your business in Britain, visit our company formation UK page. Or for help on how to open your business in China, click on our company formation China page or our company formation Hong Kong page. Or you can contact our team on 0044 (0) 203 445 0916 or email us through our contact page and we'll be happy to help.

For information on how to apply for a two year Chinese visitor visa to the UK, please go to https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa.

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