The European countries of Germany and France have jointly opened the first joint visa application centre in Beijing on October 29, 2012. The latest move has been taken to ease the process of visa applications, and attract more Chinese to European countries.
The new centre will make the process of filing for a visa more convenient for Chinese people, however, they will still have to provide excessive material for the application process. Analysts have urged that the process must be made more transparent.
The Chinese citizens who want to apply for Schengen visas, which includes 26 European countries, can hand in their applications to the centre; now they do not have to go to the German or French embassies. Also, the new centre can handle more visa applications than it was previously possible. On an average, the applicants can get visas within two weeks.
The new applicants will be brought up to speed regarding the visa regulations and application procedures, as well as be provided help to prepare their applications to the embassies. The new centre has also been built to reduce the waiting time for an appointment to submit visa applications, and also facilitate the application process for Chinese passport holders.
In recent times, the number of Chinese travelling to Europe have increased, and this has resulted in long waiting periods throughout the application process, especially during the peak tourism season.