Visiting Italy is now a lot easier for southern Chinese.
Due to increase demand, the Italian Consulate-General in Guangzhou created the “green channel” to fast-track visa applications through eight designated Chinese tour operators, including China International Travel Service, Shunde International Travel Service, Ctrip and Guangdong China Travel Service. More tour operators may be added in the future.
Visas will be issued within 48 to 72 hours compared to six working days and individual interviews are waived.
The expedited visa process is open to residents of Guangdong, Hunan, Fujian, Hainan and Jiangxi provinces as well as the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
Visa application to the consulate-general grew by 23 percent this year and the number of applicants will likely grow more if China Southern Airlines begin direct flights between Guangzhou and Rome, according to Deputy Consul-General Massimo Baldassarreto.
“There were 57,000 visa applications to the Consulate-General of Italy in Guangzhou last year, a surge of 20 percent from the previous year. Tourism visa applications made up three-quarters of last year’s total, and 40 percent of the tourism visa applications came from individuals,” Baldassarre tells China Daily.
Similar initiatives have already been launched in Beijing and Shanghai, while Chongqing will launch later this year.
image credit: riccardo cuppini