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Volume 712: debated on Tuesday 14 July 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are considering changing the visa system in order to attract Chinese tourists in possession of a Schengen visa. [HL4739]

The UK does not take part in the visa and border control aspects of Schengen because doing so would not allow us to have a system to count and track people in and out of the UK, to maintain our exported border controls in France and Belgium and our juxtaposed controls, and to retain our flexibility in introducing visa regimes (as we would be tied to the common visa list).

As a consequence, those in possession of a Schengen visa wishing to travel to the UK must satisfy the requirements and conditions of entry to the UK and would need a visa in line with our standard procedures, including the payment of a fee.