European Union has decided on a “trial basis” to relax some Schengen Visa procedures for Chinese travelers. The good news is shared by the Danish Embassy in Beijing where Ambassador of Denmark in China, Friis Arne Petersen expresses his happiness with the ease in the procedure.
“Denmark has been working actively in the EU cooperation towards a simplification of the documentation for visa applicants and we are happy about these new procedures,” says Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen.
It is only applicants traveling for business purposes, short professional training, attending cultural or sports events, and visiting family or friends who will benefit from the new rule. Those travelers will be exempted from producing proof of hotel reservations and flight tickets when submitting their application. For the time being, those traveling for the purpose of tourism are not affected.
Cecilia Malmström, European Union Commissioner for home affairs, is quoted by the Embassy website as saying:
“I am very happy that Chinese travelers are among the first to enjoy easier procedures when applying for European visas. The European Union and the Chinese authorities are both aiming to facilitate people-to-people contacts which will also have an important favourable economic impact.”
The embassy explains that the new rules for the selected group of Chinese travelers will be implemented as a “pilot project” for a trial period of six months. After that period its impact should be assessed in terms of, for example, abuse and refusal of entry. On that basis, the EU will consider whether the waiving of flight and hotel reservations should be extended, possibly also to tourists and to other countries than China.
Other facilitations will apply to all categories of travelers: only a copy of “hukou” (household registration) will be required in the future (and not the original), and proof of solvency will only have to be provided for the last three months.
In individual cases, it will still be possible for consulates to waive the requirement to submit one or more of the listed supporting documents or, in justified cases, during the examination of an application, to request additional documents in accordance with the rules in force.