An increase in the count of Chinese nationals obtaining the new extended B1 business and B2 tourist visas for the U.S has been seen in the months of December and January. This move has come in the wake of U.S and China together announcing a variation to their overseas visa reciprocity pact. A U.S State Department official reportedly told a leading daily that the 351,650 visas issued by the U.S under both the categories, showed 68.2% headway when compared to the previous year’s 209,100 visas.
At the time of his visit to Beijing, U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping signed a pact to extend the business visa category to 10 years from 12 month’s time and student visas to five years from the initial time of 12 months. These visas began to be issued on long-term basis, starting 12 November.
Almost 30% of all the international students and exchange visitors in the United States are from China. Since 2008, the number of Chinese travelers going overseas to the U.S has shown an increase of one-fifth. According to a statement by the White House in November, China contributes the maximum to outward bound tourism market across the globe. This new visa policy will help to meet targets of at least 7.3 million Chinese tourists to the U.S by the year 2021. This would result in a total contribution of 85 billion dollars yearly to the economy of the country and could support as many as 440,000 U.S jobs.
In the year 2013, U.S saw 1.8 million visitors from China and the total economy got a boost of 21.1 billion dollars. This in turn backed up approximately 109,000 jobs in the U.S.