U.S. to streamline visa issuance for Chinese, Brazilians, and Indians

The visa processing time for Chinese, Brazilians and Indians may be shortened to 30 days, said a U.S. tourism official on Monday.

“The U.S. Senate just introduced a legislation last week to bring the waiting time (for a visa) to under 30 days,” Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association (USTA), told Xinhua at an annual China-U.S. tourism leadership summit on Big Island, Hawaii.

“Specifically they are looking at China and taking a look at the feasibility of not having a face-to-face interview,” Dow said.

Reports said the Senate held a meeting on Wednesday to consider a State Department funding bill that would require the department to hire sufficient staff in China, Brazil and India to allow visa applications to be processed in no more than 30 days.

Shao Qiwei, chairman of China’s National Tourism Administration, said China and the United States are working together to improve the efficiency of visa issuance.

Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in 2007 that aimed to bring more customers to the U.S. tourism industry by facilitating group leisure travel from China to the United States and permit U.S. destinations to market themselves in China, the two countries have seen significant growth in this market, Shao said.

The three-day summit opening Monday is designed to build business through creating relationships and knowledge of both the Chinese and U.S. markets. Members of USTA and the China National Tourism Association, including more than 70 regional tourism officials from the United States and China, attended the meeting.