New 48 hour fast track visa for Chinese visiting France

by Ray Clancy on January 27, 2014

France has announced a new fast track visa system for applicants from China at the start of a year that marks 50 years of diplomatic links between the two countries.

france eiffel tower

In a bid to boost tourism officials have announced that fast track visas will be processed within 48 hours

France is very popular with visitors and tourists from China who flock to see famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Mont Saint Michel and shop in Paris’s fashionable streets.

Now, in a bid to boost tourism even further officials have announced that fast track visas will be processed within 48 hours from Monday 27 January.

France has had close ties with China since 27 January 1964 when then President Charles De Gaulle broke ranks with the United States to open full diplomatic ties with the then government of Mao Zedong.

It was considered a brave move at the time against the backdrop of the Cold War and at a time when the US recognised the nationalist regime that had escaped to Taiwan as the legitimate Chinese government. Full diplomatic relations between China and the US were not established until 1979 and between the UK and China in 1972.

Announcing the new visa regime, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, praised De Gaulle’s decision 50 years ago. ‘It gave France a special position in China. It was a visionary decision with respect to a great power in the making, whose importance in world affairs today bears testimony to it,’ he said.

As part of the year of celebration there will be major art exhibitions in China of leading French artists including Impressionist painter Claude Monet and sculptor Auguste Rodin.

An exhibition on De Gaulle, who served as president between 1959 and 1969, will also take place and a bullet riddled Citroën car in which he survived an assassination attempt by opponents of Algerian independence will be sent to China and France will be prominent at the Western China International Fair in Sichuan province.

In return, treasures from China’s Han dynasty will also be on display in Paris at the Grand Palais Museum, Chinese pianist Land Tang will be performing in concert and China will be the guest of honour at the Paris art fair in March.

The UK also looks set to cut red tape for Chinese visitors. At present they can apply for a single European Union wide visa but must apply for a second one for the UK. Changes mean that if they use certain travel companies they will no longer have to apply for the second visa.


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