New Visa Arrangement Between the U.S. and China on Tourist, Exchange and Student Visas
Both countries agreed to increase the validity of the short-term business and tourist visas from one to ten years and of exchange and student visas from one to five years.
So, now eligible Chinese applicants for B non-immigrant visa can get a multiple entry visa for up to ten years for business and tourism. And students and exchange visitors from China, meeting the requirements of F, M and J visa can travel to the USA with their accompanying family members for up to five years or for the length of their studies.
The same applies to the U.S. residents who want to travel to China on business or tourism – they can get a multiple entry visa for up to 10 years. Qualified US students will get a permit to stay in China for up to five years until the completion of their education course.
1.8 million tourists from China travelled to the USA in 2013, spending 21% billion in the USA and it’s expected that 7.3 million Chinese tourists will visit the U.S. by 2021, bringing in 85$ billion per year and supporting 400,000 jobs.
The US embassy in China process several thousand applications per day and this number increased by 22% for the last year.
This new arrangement will bring benefits for travellers from both countries as they used to spend more on applying for a visa if visiting each other’s countries each year. This will also ease trade and investments. Most of the investment activities by foreign nationals in the USA can be performed under the standard business or tourist (B1 or B2) visa.
Ten years is actually the longest visa validity possible under US legislation. The change on the visa validity, however, will not affect the eligibility criteria and the processing fee will remain the same.
This new visa agreement is a sign of the US efforts to increase the bilateral opportunities for people-to-people engagement.
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