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August 18, 2012

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French Consulate improves visa services

The French Consulate in Shanghai is streamlining its visa process as it deals with a rapid increase in applications from Chinese citizens.

"We are receiving applications from more Chinese tourists of diversified age groups such as retirees, parents visiting their children who study in France, and of course, many young couples on their honeymoons," Laurent Triponey, the consulate's deputy consul general, told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

The consulate is expected to approve 110,000 visas this year, increasing about 25 percent from last year.

About 60 percent of these applications are from applicants wishing to visit France on tourist visas, Triponey said.

The consulate has increased its visa section staff by 30 percent this year to improve service and handle the rise in applications.

Triponey said short-term tourist visas can now be processed within 2 or 3 days.

Triponey added that the consulate plans to expand its visa-processing capacity and it will relocate its office next year.

He said 89,500 people from Shanghai and neighboring provinces applied for a French visa through the consulate last year and more than 95 percent of the applications were successful.

With these measures, Shanghai is expected to replace Beijing this year as the Chinese city that receives the biggest number of French visa applications.


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