Procedures and Regulations for UK Visa Applicants from China


The United Kingdom has set certain procedures and rules in place for Chinese residents looking to come to the United Kingdom for various purposes such as applicants applying for a tier one entrepreneur visa, UK immigration business visa, t1 graduate entrepreneur visa, student visa, work visa, travel visa and residents of China looking to permanently settle. The ‘British Embassy’ and ‘Consulate – Generals’ are the official titles given to the embassy of the United Kingdom that are located in China.

The official working hours of the British Embassy in China are listed as 8:30 A.M. – 12 P.M. and 1:30 P.M. to 5 P.M. The Web address of the British Embassy is given as www.ukinchina.fco.gov.uk/en/ and www.gov.uk/government/world/china.

The official working hours of the British Consulate General that is located in Shanghai are listed as 8:30 A.M. – 5 P.M. from Monday to Thursday. The Consulate general is open between 8:30 A.M. - 3:30 P.M. on Friday. The web address is given as www.ukinchina.fco.gov.uk/

The official working hours of the British Consulate General that is located in Guangzhou are listed as 9 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. and 1:30 P.M. to 5 P.M from Monday to Friday. The web address is given as www.ukinchina.fco.gov.uk/

The official working hours of the British Consulate General that is located in Chongqing are listed as 9 A.M. – 12 P.M. and 1 P.M. to 5 P.M from Monday to Friday. The web address is given as www.ukinchina.fco.gov.uk/

The official working hours of the British Consulate General that is located in Hong Kong are listed as 8:30 A.M. – 5:15 P.M. from Monday to Friday. The web address is given as www.ukinhongkong.fco.gov.uk/en/

What is VFS and what is its role in the immigration process for Chinese residents?

VFS is the official commercial partner of the United Kingdom government with matters related to visa application submissions in China. Any resident of China who wishes to apply for a visa to the United Kingdom will go to his/her nearest VFS office. VFS acts as a Visa Application Center (VAC), which is the sole representative of the United Kingdom government to collect visa applications from Chinese applicants. VFS does not have any influence on the final decision on any visa application and only acts to collect and forward the visa applications to the British Embassy and to the Consulate General. Any applicant applying from China cannot direct submit his/her visa application the British Embassy or to the Consulate General as they will refuse to accept it. You can find out more about VFS operations in China through their official website listed as www.vfs-uk-cn.com

In which cities of China are the offices of VFS located in?

  • An office of VFS is located in Beijing. The working hours are between 7:30 A.M. -2:30 P.M. from Monday to Friday.
  • An office of VFS is located in Wuhan. The working hours are between 8 A.M. - 3 P.M. from Monday to Friday.
  • An office of VFS is located in Shenyang of the province of Liaoning. The working hours are between 8 A.M. - 3 P.M. from Monday to Friday.
  • An office of VFS is located in Jinan. The working hours are between 8 A.M. - 3 P.M. from Monday to Friday.
  • An office of VFS is located in Chongqing. The working hours are between 8 A.M. - 3 P.M. from Monday to Friday.
  • An office of VFS is located in Chengdu. The working hours are between 8 A.M. - 3 P.M. from Monday to Friday.
  • An office of VFS is located in the Huangpu district of the Shanghai province. The working hours are between 8 A.M. - 3 P.M. from Monday to Friday.
  • An office of VFS is located in the Xiacheng district of the Hangzhou province. The working hours are between 8 A.M. - 3 P.M. from Monday to Friday.
  • An office of VFS is located in Nanjing. The working hours are between 8 A.M. - 3 P.M. from Monday to Friday.
  • An office of VFS is located in Guangzhou City. The working hours are between 8 A.M. - 3 P.M. from Monday to Friday.
  • An office of VFS is located in Shenzhen. The working hours are between 8 A.M. - 3 P.M. from Monday to Friday.
  • An office of VFS is located in Fuzhou. The working hours are between 8 A.M. - 3 P.M. from Monday to Friday.

What is the China Commercial Code (CCC)?

The China Commercial Code (CCC) is a four digit code that must be submitted during the visa application process. It is used to represent a Chinese character that is used to represent names. All Chinese residents submitting their visa application form from mainland China are required to submit the China Commercial Code (CCC) representing their name and the China Commercial Code (CCC) that represents their parent’s names.

What payments need to be made by applicants applying in China during the visa application process?

The only applicable amount on the applicant is the visa application fee. The visa application fee varies from category to category of the visa that you are applying for. An applicant applying for a student visa will need to submit a different fee than an applicant applying for a work visa. The visa application fee can be submitted when the applicant is submitting the visa application form at a visa application center being operated by VFS. The fee must be submitted in the local currency of China that is the Chinese yuan (RMB).

What are the requirements that an applicant applying from China for going to United Kingdom must fulfill?

Any individuals who wants to go to United Kingdom and is applying from China must go to a visa application center (being operated by VFS) in person to submit his/her visa application form. As per the requirement of the United Kingdom government, VFS is obligated to collect biometric information of each applicant. This includes a fingerprint scan of each applicant along with taking a digital photo. Applicants who refuse to submit this biometric information will not see their visa applications being accepted by VFS. Applicants should note that VFS is not allowed to collect any fee for collecting your biometric information.

Applicants applying to go to the United Kingdom and who wish to visit a Visa Application Center (VFS) for this purpose must schedule an appointment before going. A separate appointment needs to be scheduled for each applicant applying even if it’s a family member.

Applicants are required to submit the following documents along with a filled visa application form:

  • The visa application form being submitted must be signed and no section left blank without a document supporting the reason for leaving it blank. If the applicant made an online application, a printout must be submitted with the signature of the applicant.
  • The applicant is required to submit his/her valid passport. Note that applicants applying from China are not required to have at least six months of validity on their passport. Although, the applicant’s passport must be valid at the time the application is being submitted and also at the time of arrival in the United Kingdom.
  • The applicant’s passport that is required to be submitted for his/her visa application form to go to the United Kingdom must have at least 1 page blank on both the front and back. This is for the convenience of the British Embassy, so that in the case the applicant is granted a visa to the United Kingdom, a visa vignette can be pasted on the passport in the form of a sticker.
  • A photograph of the applicant must be submitted along with the visa application form. The photograph must be recent and passport along with filling other criterion set by the Home Office.
  • The visa application fee must be paid and a receipt or any other form of evidence must be submitted to show the fact the visa application fee has indeed been paid.
  • Applicants applying from China are required to submit any additional documents that they think are necessary to support the information given on their visa application form. The additional documents being submitted must also be translated in English for convenience.
  • The documents being submitted by applicants applying from China must be original with copies alongside them so that after a decision has been reached on their visa application, the original documents can be returned.
  • Applicants applying from China who are submitting their visa application form under the points based system must also remember to submit their self assessment form. The self assessment form being submitted to the embassy must be signed by the applicant along with having a clearly mentioned date.
  • Applicants applying from China are obligated to submit any previous passports to show that the applicant has previously travelled abroad.

Additional documents for going to the United Kingdom that need to be submitted for all types of visas (excluding the Approved Destination Category (ADS)) are:

  • The Chinese national’s family book which is referred to as the Hukou. A translation of this family book also needs to be submitted.
  • If the applicant applying from China is applying for a category where a business license is needed, a business license must be submitted along with other documents on the applicant’s visa application form.
  • If the applicant applying from China is being sponsored by the Chinese government, a CSSC government sponsorship certificate is required to be submitted.

Does the British Embassy conduct an interview of applicants applying to go to the United Kingdom from China?

 Yes, an interview of the applicant applying from China for any reason (such as tier one entrepreneur visa, UK immigration business visa, t1 graduate entrepreneur visa etc.) is conducted which is scheduled before time and the applicant is informed to attend the interview. The interview is obligatory on the applicant and acts to help the Embassy officials determine whether the case of the applicant is genuine for whatever reason the individual might be applying. Each individual, even if family members, must attend the interview separately as they will be scheduled interview. However, children under the age of ten are interviewed under the supervision of their parents or legal guardians. This rule also applies to children between the ages of ten to fourteen who might be interviewed under the supervision of an adult. The Embassy or the Consulate general who receives the visa applications forwarded to them by VFS will seek to process each application as soon as they can.

Exemption from certain conditions for applicants applying for a business visa (If they are applying from China):

If the applicant applying from China applies for a business visa with a time period of one, two or five years attached to it, they can get the business visa without any conditions attached if they can fulfill certain business visa UK requirements that are:

  • If the applicant’s company that is sending the individual to the United Kingdom has a membership of a scheme known as the ‘fast track scheme’. The company must also sponsor the applicant’s visa application giving proof of authorization that the individual is travelling to the United Kingdom on the company’s behalf.
  • The visa application for business travel to the United Kingdom must be sponsored by either the MFO or the FAO. The applicant from China wishing to go to the United Kingdom must also be applying for the business visa on his or her official passport.

 If the applicant is successfully granted a visa to go to the United Kingdom, the passport will be returned to the individual along with the UK visa and original documents that were submitted at the time of the application. If the application is rejected, a letter will be forwarded to VFS that the applicant can collect. It will contain the reason for refusal along with informing the applicant of his/her legal rights regarding appeal of the decision taken.