Obama Speeds up Visa Process to Boost Tourism
America is about to see a boost in tourism from China and Brazil, following President Obama's announcement yesterday that streamlining the visa process will make it easier for travelers from those countries to come to the U.S.
"America is open for business" is the phrase the President used while speaking to a crowd on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disney's Magic Kingdom, signaling his administration's goal of making the country the "top tourist destination in the world"—which will boost the economy and create jobs—as residents from affluent, fast-growing nations spend thousands of dollars on trips to the U.S.
Visa restrictions were tightened soon after September 11, 2001, to increase homeland security, but the U.S. tourism industry and various business groups have long argued for easing them.
Plans are in place to raise the processing of non-immigrant visas for China and Brazil by 40 percent this year; put a three-week deadline on having 80 percent of applicants interviewed; and expand visa waiver programs. In addition, Taiwan will be added to the list of countries that can have visas waived. [Reuters]
What do you think about changes to the visa process for international tourists? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
Photo credit: hatman12 / iStockphoto
Member Comments (1) Post a Comment
Well done, Mr. President!
Waiting times for visa interview in Brazil takes more than 90 days, and excessive US Customs red tape is pushing Brazilians to European countries like France, Italy, UK and Spain, where NO visa is required at all for visitors who intend to stay less than 90 days visiting.
Fodor's Top News & Features
- 11 Cyber Monday Travel Deals at Beach Hotels
- 15 Festivals to Attend Before You Die
- Ultimate Safari Planner
- Fodor's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers
- 10 Cheeses Worth Traveling For
- Venice's Ban on Cruise Ships: What it Means for You
- America's Best Wine Bars
- World's 10 Coolest Ice Hotels
- 15 Best Places to Drink Hot Chocolate in America
- 10 Best US Ski Resorts for Families
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $525 -- Luxe Rio de Janeiro Resort over New Year's EveSheraton Rio Hotel & Resort
- $699 & up -- Cancun All-Inclusive Beach Escape w/AirApple Vacations
- $949 & up -- Caribbean: 7-Nt. Cruise on World's Largest ShipRoyal Caribbean
- $599 & up -- Weeklong Southern Caribbean CruiseRoyal Caribbean
- $869 & up -- Westin Maui 3-Nt. Vacation w/AirPleasant Holidays