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US implements visa process improvements in China

More and more individuals throughout the world are seeking visas to enter the United States. Two countries where the demand is growing fast are China and Brazil. This post will examine recent developments with issuing visas to Chinese residents.

The increase in demand for Chinese residents to visit the U.S. is likely due to several factors including a recent history of economic growth in China and a middle class there that is expanding and interested in travelling. While Chinese residents are interested in travelling to the U.S., difficulties in obtaining a visa as well as the wait time involved may serve as a deterrent.

Recognizing these barriers, the U.S. Department of State has taken steps to address these matters. The importance of addressing these issues is supported by the substantial influx of money into the country that tourists from China provide. In 2010, the Department of Commerce reports that more than 800,000 visitors from China resulted in the addition of $5 billion to the U.S. economy.

Another motivation for promptly tending to visa issues in China is the creation of new jobs in U.S. tourism and travel that the increase in visitors will likely necessitate. This job growth is particularly appealing given the current state of the U.S. economy.

As a result of the increased demand, the U.S. is doing what it can to lower the wait time to receive a visa by adding employees and implementing changes to the visa process.

The steps the State Department has taken thus far appear to be working. The agency indicates that the number of visas issued in China this year is up 35 percent. The one millionth visa adjudicated in China in 2011 was recently presented by the ambassador from the U.S. Embassy located in Beijing. In addition, the average wait time to get an appointment for a visa interview is now currently under one week.

In our next post we will focus on the increased demand from residents of Brazil for visas to travel to the U.S.

Source: RTT News, "US Issues One Millionth Visa In China," Dec. 16, 2011

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