The Chinese embassy has opened a new visa application centre in Abuja to facilitate procurement of Chinese visas for Abuja residents and environs.
The centre, located at Churchgate Plaza, Central Business District, will commence operations from September 20, 2017, according to the Deputy Ambassador, Mr. Lin Jing.
Jing said the visa application centre was opened to improve the service standard for applicants but not to harm the procedure.
Speaking to journalists at a media briefing yesterday in Abuja, Jing said: “From Wednesday, all ordinary passport holders wishing to visit the People’s Republic of China are requested to apply for visas at Abuja China Visa Application Centre,”
He however said diplomats and official passport holders or applicants applying for Hong Kong/Macao Special Administrative Region visa/entry permits are to submit their applications directly to the Chinese embassy.
He said another centre would also be opened in Lagos where visa applications would be submitted there.
Jing said nevertheless, application process and duration for visa issuance remain unchanged.
“We have limited resources and facilities and over the past years we have seen visa applicants sweating under the sun shine.
“We have been trying hard to improve our service and make it more comfortable for visa applicants while waiting for their interviews or to submit applications.
“We are happy to announce that China visa application centre will open on September 20, 2017. We hope that with the opening of the centre, we will improve our services for applicants from all walks of life.
“The centre would be located at Churchgate Plaza, Central Business District, Abuja.
“The centre is entrusted to receive visa applications on behalf of the embassy and we have a duty to oversee their operation,” he said.
The envoy reiterated that the decision to approve or disapprove visa applications still resides with the embassy.
He added that successful applicants are also expected to pick their passports from the centre.
The deputy ambassador who disclosed that the new visa application fee is now 31,250 which included service fees and VAT, adding that the application centre is a commercial entity and independent of the Chinese embassy and urged prospective applicants to be patient with the new development.