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Italy simplifies visa procedures for Chinese

ITALY has simplified its visa application procedures to attract Chinese tourists and business people.

Chinese applicants can submit their visa applications to the Italian Embassy in Beijing or any of its consulates in China after April 11 rather than go to the cities where their permanent or temporary residence permits are issued, according to the Italian consulate general in Shanghai.

This is expected to speed up processing times across China, it said.

In March, Italy opened a "green channel" for Chinese tourists. Face-to-face interviews at Italian consulates or the embassy are no longer required if Chinese travelers arrange their trips through selected large tourism agencies.

Other countries are also simplifying visa application procedures and shortening processing times.

The UK announced earlier this month that it will launch a 24-hour service this summer. It also doubled the size of its 12 visa application centers in China to serve more applicants and shorten waiting times.

The US Consulate in Shanghai expanded its visa applications capacity by 50 percent last month.



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