Measures to prevent misuse of business visas issued to Chinese citizens
As a result of the increased focus on Danish collaboration and trade with China, and the need for speedy and efficient processing of visa applications for Chinese businesspeople, the Immigration Service and the Foreign Ministry have undertaken a series of initiatives.
These initiatives are partly intended to improve services to Chinese applicants with relevant business in Denmark, partly to address the misuse of visas issued to Chinese citizens which Denmark, among other countries, has experienced
Initiatives to address misuse
In 2005, the Immigration Service, the former Ministry of Integration, the police, and the Foreign Ministry introduced a series of initiatives intended to address misuse of business visas to Chinese citizens.
The initiatives have sought to improve communication with Danish businesses and to improve the review procedure of Chinese applicants, as previous control measures carried out by Danish authorities in China have not been sufficient.
The control measures are carried out in a way designed to minimise any unnecessary inconvenience to the vast majority of serious applicants. In some cases, however, the measures may result in longer case processing time.
The information initiatives aimed at Danish businesses have heightened awareness about what to pay specific attention to when leasing with Chinese businesspeople for the first time.
The control measures aimed at Chinese applicants have led to increased demands regarding documentation and when applicants are required to meet in person at one of the Danish diplomatic missions in China. Furthermore, staff from the diplomatic missions have carried out more inspections to the companies which the applicants claim to represent. These inspections made it clear that the extra focus on Chinese applicants is still a necessity. In order to prevent unnecessary inconvenience to the serious applicants, the focus is primarily on persons who have not previously been to the Schengen region.
Reasons for the new review procedure
The Danish Embassy in Beijing implement continued regular inspections in several provinces in China to determine whether information submitted by applicants claiming to be businesspeople is correct.
The inspections indicate that applicants often submit incorrect information. In several instances, applicants claimed to work at non-existent companies. Moreover, some applicants have stated incorrect details of their employment status.
Misuse is especially prevalent by applicants from Liaoning province in northeastern China. One investigation found that 46 out of 48 applicants had given incorrect information about their company or their employment status. Investigations also found significant problems with applications from Zhejiang province in southeastern China.
The investigations also suggest that the reviews carried out by Danish authorities in China have not been sufficient in many instances. Prior to the investigations, the embassy made telephone calls that did not reveal that information had been falsified.
Continued regular inspections
The Danish Embassy in Beijing continues to carry out inspections throughout China in order to check certain applicants who claim to be businesspeople. Unfortunately, it is clear that the problems still exist, even if the number of cases is declining.
The Immigration Service and the Foreign Ministry will continue to follow any developments in the misuse of business visas while working to ensure a balance between the necessity for control measures and the need for speedy and efficient processing of visa applications from serious Chinese applicants.