For citizens of the People’s Republic of China, obtaining a visa to enter the United States for any purpose used to be a major pain in the neck. Although many nations around the world have taken a positive stance towards welcoming Chinese people for tourism, business and immigration, the U.S. has been notoriously dragging its feet, at least until November 10th.
At a political summit in Beijing, President Barack Obama announced that a new reciprocal visa validity arrangement between the U.S. and China intends to make things a lot easier for Chinese travelers who wish to visit as tourists or business people. Prior to this announcement, demand for U.S. visas was very high in China, but the process of getting one was exhausting and frustrating.
Tourists from this Asian economic giant, who is considered one of the most prosperous nations on Earth, used to stand in line for hours at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, not a pleasant experience in the harsh wintertime. Getting an interview could take up to a month, and then visas had to be applied for every year.
Under the new arrangement, Chinese visa applicants will be able to obtain an entry permit that is valid for 10 years. In the case of students, visas are good for five years, and they are far easier to renew now.
Although Chinese travelers are certainly interested in visiting the U.S., only 1.8 percent of all tourists who exit China arrive in the U.S., and a major reason for this paradox has been the Kafkaesque process of getting visas. Despite this shortcoming, Chinese tourists spent $2 billion in California alone last year, and 28 percent of all foreign students in this country come from China. Click here to learn more about student visas for Chinese students coming to the U.S.
An even stronger motivation for the U.S. to facilitate the visa application process in China is potential business. Immigration analysts predict that Chinese business people will be very interested in exploring opportunities in the U.S., particularly in Western states. There are no provisions in place to facilitate the status quo on immigration from China, but it is important to remember that education and business are two major drivers of future relocation and immigration.
For more information about business employment immigration in San Diego, reach out to KS Visa Law. We are a premier San Diego law firm specializing in immigration, and offer complimentary consultations where you can ask questions and tell us more about your particular case. To schedule a consultation or to simply have a conversation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at 858-874-0711.