U.S. Finally Moves to Ease Visa Restrictions

February 5, 2012

The U.S. government is finally taking steps to simplify the U.S. visa application process. On Jan. 19, President Obama signed an executive order with the aim of the reducing paperwork and time required to process visas. The executive order specifically sets out to reduce the waiting time of applicants from China and Brazil. It also eliminates the need for Taiwanese to apply for U.S. visas.

The move will provide a clear benefit to the U.S. economy as it will be easier for millions of tourists and business travellers to enter the U.S. This also has wide ranging benefits for the U.S. exhibition industry which has long-suffered due to the slow, bureaucratic visa system.

Stephanie Selenick, president of International Trade Information, said that visa applicants in Shanghai wait an average of 51 days for a visa interview and more than 120 days in Sao Paulo.

This executive order will solve the problem, but at a minimum it is a step in the right direction with potentially strong benefits for U.S. exhibition organisers looking to attract international visitors and exhibitors.

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