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U.S. visa applications processed in China up 43 percent for fiscal 2012: State Department

(Xinhua)

08:31, July 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. has processed more than 1 million visa applications in China to date in fiscal year 2012, almost up 43 percent over the same period last fiscal year, the U.S. State Department said Thursday

This was the result of the measures taken by the State Department in order to attract more Chinese visitors to the U.S., including adding staff, improving workflow and reducing the wait time for a visa interview appointment to approximately one week.

"We are implementing permanent solutions to keep us ahead of the growing visa demand for years to come," the Department said in a statement.

During a June trip to China, the State Department's top consular official, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Janice Jacobs, cut the ribbon on a reopened annex to the U. S. Embassy in Beijing, greatly increasing visa interview capacity.

In addition to its embassy in Beijing, the U.S. has four consulates in China, which are located in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenyang.

China is not the only place where the U.S. has achieved great success in meeting dramatic increases in visa demand. In Brazil, U. S. consular officers have processed almost 44 percent more visa applications to date in fiscal year 2012, which started from October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012, than the same period last year. In Mexico, the number of processed visa applications increased by 36 percent.

China and Mexico are the only two countries, where the U.S. processes more than 1 million visa applications each year, although Brazil is on track to become the third, the Department said.

"The accomplishments announced today reflect the Obama Administration's commitment towards increasing U.S. jobs by encouraging more people to visit our country," it added.


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