The new Italian Visa Application Centre (IVAC) in Guangzhou was officially inaugurated on 16th December. The new Visa Centre is located on the 45th floor of Citic Plaza in Tianhe District, Guangzhou.
The new Visa Centre, in operation since the end of October earlier this year, covers an area of 1,200 square metres, including an area dedicated to the promotion of Italy and a children’s corner, as well as areas reserved for individual visa applicants and travel agencies.
In 2019, the Consulate General of Italy in Guangzhou has processed over 88,000 visa applications and it is expected to exceed 90,000 by the end of the year, given that over the last three years the requests have been growing constantly.
The new Visa Centre was created to further facilitate bilateral exchanges, Italy-China cooperation and the flow of tourists, in particular on the occasion of the beginning, in 2020, of the China-Italy Year of Culture and Tourism. The same year, 2020, marks also the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, a further opportunity to continue understanding each other through cultural and tourist channels.
The opening hours of the new Visa Centre have been revised to make them more convenient for users: from Monday to Friday, from 08:00 to 20:00.
Italy has become the fastest country in issuing visas, with an average of 36-hour processing time. In addition to this, Italy is among the Schengen countries the one with the lowest visa application cost: apart from the fixed visa fee (60 euros) a Chinese citizen currently applying for tourism visa pays only CNY 78 service, with a 50% decrease compared to past; CNY 62 is the fee for group visas.
Italy is one of the preferred countries by Chinese tourists. On the eve of Chinese New Year, a large number of Chinese citizens are already applying for a tourism visa and tourists going to Italy are constantly increasing.
Official statistics published by Italy for year 2018 show 3,100,000 tourists who stayed in Italy for a total of 5,000,000 nights. The President of the Italian Tourism Agency, Mr. Palmucci, has recently expressed the hope that in 2020 there will be an increase in admissions and stays of 12%.
Asking for a visa for Italy will always be easier: new mobile devices for the collection of biometric data will reduce the inconveniences of visa applicants, who have so far had to go personally to one of the 15 Visa Centres in China. Depending on the number of requests, it will be possible to obtain a home collection service.
The Italian Visa Application Centre (IVAC)
45/F, Citic Plaza, NO.233 Tianhe North Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou