Wendy Wu Tours is alerting agents to new China visa legislation requiring British passport holders to have fingerprints taken at the time of submitting a visa application.

New legislation which came into force last month means any British passport holders over 14 and under the age of 75 visiting China on holiday must have fingerprints taken when applying for a visa.

Customers will now have to visit Chinese consulates in person in London, Manchester and Edinburgh to complete their applications.

The company is utilising its close ties with the Chinese government and lobbying on behalf of the trade to have the new legislation reversed.

In the meantime, the China and Asia specialist operator has been granted special exemption from the new rule.

This allows the company to continue processing visas as normal without the need for fingerprints until December 3.

This applies to all British citizen passport holders planning to complete a trip to China before 2020, regardless of whether a holiday booking has been made or not.

Anyone without a booking can use Wendy Wu’s visa-only service at a cost of £310 per person.

The operator will require all visa applications by November 26 at the latest to ensure visa applications are processed without the need for fingerprints.

The operator already has a step-by-step guide to help visitors to apply for a

Founder Wendy Wu said: “We want to help travel agents and we want them to tell their customers who are thinking about a trip to China. This service will help them close sales and make it easier, so that their customers don’t have to stand in long queues.”

Wu fears the visa law change will slow growth in visitor numbers to China because of the inconvenience it will cause holidaymakers. The operator has already lobbied against the move, mooted for some time.

She said: “The new visa legislation is inconvenient and we will continue to say this to officials whenever we have the opportunity. It’s not going to help the Chinese tourism market. The market to China is growing but this will reduce the speed of the growth.”

There are some exceptions in the new regulations for brief stopovers in certain regions in China when holidaymakers are flying on to other destinations.

Chinese visitors are required to give fingerprints when they apply for a visit to this country.