U.S. and China Announce Reciprocal Extension of Temporary Visas for Business people and Tourists

The United States Government and China announced in November of 2014 that they would extend the validity of some visas reciprocally, meaning that they will be making the extensions at the same time and equally.

This is good news for professionals, students and visitors looking to travel to the United States or China. Previously, people had to apply for visas every year in order to travel to or from the United States.

The newly modified visas will be multiple entry visas, so visitors can enter either China or the U.S. multiple times over a ten-year period (as per the November agreement). However, these visas cannot be used by visitors to stay for an uninterrupted 10 years. Depending on the type of visa they get, they may still have to leave periodically to maintain their nonimmigrant status.

The U.S. sees a great deal of Chinese visa applications every year, often totalling over 1.95 million applications. Because of the volume of applications it may be much easier to process visas of longer periods. This would save the U.S. government money and time for the citizens of China.

The reverse will also apply where the Chinese government will save money and U.S. citizens will save time when applying for visas.

The United States higher education system sees a lot of Chinese students at its universities and these extended visas (five years for academic or vocational students) will make it easier for them to return to their families during school breaks. Instead of applying for a new visa after every break in the school year, they can just return on their original visa.

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