The USA and China have agreed to increase the validity of short-term tourist and business visas issued to each other’s citizens from one to ten years – the longest validity possible under U.S. law – and increase the validity of student and exchange visas from one to five years. The United States will begin issuing visas in accordance with the new reciprocal agreement on November 12, 2014.
As a result of this arrangement, the United States hopes to welcome a growing share of eligible Chinese travelers, inject billions in the U.S. economy and create enough demand to support hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. jobs. Travelers will continue to be subject to all the same legal and security reviews that currently apply to visa applicants.
Welcoming a Growing Share of Chinese Travelers.
* China is the fastest-growing outbound tourism market in the world, and in 2013, 1.8 million Chinese travelers visited the United States, contributing $21.1 billion to the U.S. economy and supporting more than 109,000 American jobs.
* Chinese travelers consistently rank the United States as their most-desired travel destination, yet less than 2 percent of total Chinese travelers come to the United States.
* Chinese travelers cite ease of visa policies as the second most important factor in deciding where to travel, behind only cost.
* A competitive visa policy will help us meet projections that suggest as many as 7.3 million Chinese travelers will come to the United States by 2021, contributing nearly $85 billion a year to the economy and supporting up to 440,000 U.S. jobs.
Strengthening Bonds Between Chinese and American Students.
* 28 percent of all foreign students and exchange visitors in the United States originate from China.
* Chinese students in the United States spent $8 billion in 2013, an increase of nearly 24 percent over the previous year.
* Today’s arrangement will allow American and Chinese students to more easily travel back and forth, making foreign study a more attractive option, increasing opportunities for people-to-people ties, and boosting mutual understanding.
SOURCES – White house, Statistica
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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