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Norway unveils visa application center in city

NORWAY opened a visa application center in Shanghai today in the Guangdong Development Bank Tower.

Oyvind Stokke, Norwegian Consul General in Shanghai, greeted the first applicants, a family of three, with flowers.

Chinese tourists, including those joining ADS (approved destination status) group tours, can apply for visas at the new center, which is open from 8am to 4 pm, instead of going to the Norwegian Consulate General in Shanghai, said Oyvind Lorenzen, a consular official.

No appointments are needed except for ADS group tours and all applicants must register and pay the visa fee online before coming to the visa application center to submit required documents.

ADS group tour operators must call the center to make appointments at least 15 days before departure, said Lorenzen.

The center has five service counters and can receive 30 applicants at a time, whereas the consulate has only three.

The opening of the new center is aimed at offering better service and more efficiency for tourists and group tour operators, Lorenzen added. Previously, visa applicants had to wait for two weeks. With the new center, visa processing will take no more than one week.

The center only serves Chinese applicants from Shanghai and the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Zhejiang -- all covered by the Norwegian Consulate General in Shanghai.

Norway also opened a visa application center in Guangzhou earlier this month and another one in Beijing years ago.

The Guangdong Development Bank Tower now houses visa application centers from 10 countries, including the UK, Canada, Greece and Australia.


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