Obama Speeds up Visa Process to Boost Tourism

Posted by Rachel Klein on January 20, 2012 at 10:09:42 AM EST | Post a Comment

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

Posted in Travel Tips, News Tagged: China, Brazil, Air Travel

Member Comments (1)  Post a Comment

  • Caddy_Lincoln on Jan 20, 12 at 11:37 PM

    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.