ITALY LIBERALIZED VISA PROCEDURE FOR CITIZENS OF CHINA
Under the liberalized procedure, Italy said Chinese citizens are now allowed to apply for visas at the Italian Embassy in Beijing or at a consulate general closest to their place of residence. The new rule took effect starting Saturday.
The old rule requires Chinese applicants to apply for visas only at the Italian Embassy or in consulate general within the applicant's temporary residence permit or household registration.
The new rule spares applicants, especially those who have migrated to a city to work, from traveling long-distance to their household registration.
"This is very convenient for my part because my household registration is very far from Shanghai, where I am currently working," said a bank teller who wants to apply for an Italian visa to visit the European country.
According to the Italian Consulate-General based in Guangzhou, the new visa rule will substantially increase the number of Chinese visitors to Italy.
Italy's new visa rules for Chinese applicants came after the United Kingdom also trimmed visa application procedures in order to entice more Chinese tourists into the country.
Several countries around the world are introducing several visa and travel rules that are aimed at luring Chinese overseas tourists, which the China Tourism Bureau said could reach over 100 million this year from last year's 94 million.