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People's Daily Online>>World

U.S. streamlines visa process to boost economy

By Joanna Law, People’s Daily Onine USA (People's Daily Online)

15:39, March 01, 2012

Chinese tourists have become one major drive for the retail economy in the United States as yuan remains high against US dollar. According to the Department of Commerce, more than 800,000 Chinese tourists visited the country in 2010, and each of them spent on average US$6,000 during the trip. As it is expected that number of first-time Chinese travelers to the United States will triple in the next five years, President Obama in January launched a pilot program to speed up the visa process.

The program’s goal is to increase visa processing capacity in China by up to 40% in 2012. To succeed, 50 new consular officers will be assigned in China to handle the mounting volumes of applications. It is expected that the 50% of increase in consular officer staffing will help shortening the wait time for Chinese travelers. The U.S. government is also planning to open new consular facilities in Guangzhou and Shanghai. All of these will be completed in 2012.

The pilot program will also significantly reduce wait times for interviews by waiving the requirement for those who have been granted a visa before. As of February 8, 2012, wait times at all posts in China are less than six days, according to the Department of Commerce.

Visa application to the United States is in fact simple and straight forward. The problem lies in the government’s processing time, which could take months. Travelers often have to wait a long period of time before finding out whether or not they can get a visa. Such a long wait is the reason that deters Chinese from visiting the United States.

Mr. Huang, a legal practitioner specializes in immigration in Manhattan, New York, welcomes the new visa policy. “It makes the process less frustrating. A long wait is a disincentive for people who want to come here to spend money. The heightened security measures after September 11 is like the U.S. is building up a wall around itself. Excessive protectionism, in trade or in travel, usually harms the country more than the intended benefits. Faster visa processing is the right step in the right direction.”

The basic requirements for visa applicants are that they must prove their financial stability while demonstrating their intent to return to their home country. They could do so by providing evidence such as family ties or ownership of property. For applicants who are applying for B-1(temporary visitors for business), they will need to provide proof that supports their reasons of coming to the United States for business.

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Leave your comment2 comments

  1. Name

wende at 2012-03-0271.255.93.*
US is targeting Chinese talents and Chinese money.
fool at 2012-03-01117.242.144.*
do not try to compete or fight enemy fools do that first change entirely different than destroy ur enemy believes and change should have global appeal people shld die for it.

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