New China and U.S. Visa Policy Extends Validity of Visas

By Jesse Sokolow on 10 November 2014
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A street in Chengdu, China

A street in Chengdu, China

The United States and China reached an agreement on Monday that will extend the validity of short-term business and tourist visas as well as student and exchange visas issued to citizens of both countries.  The new policy will go into effect on November 12.

Under the new agreement, Chinese applicants who qualify for a B-category nonimmigrant visa will be able to receive multiple-entry visas for up to ten years for business and tourist travel, while U.S. citizens who qualify for Chinese short term business and tourist visas may also be issued multiple-entry visas valid for up to ten years.  Ten years is the longest visa validity possible under United States law.

In addition, Chinese students and exchange visitors, as well as their dependents, who qualify for F, M, or J-category visas, are eligible for multiple-entry visas that are valid for up to five years or the length of their program.  Qualified U.S. students traveling to China may also receive student residency permits valid for up to five years, depending on the length of their specific program.

The U.S. Department of State said that the agreement will be “more convenient and less costly for travelers.”  Prior to the new arrangement, business travelers and tourists had to apply annually if traveling to the other country, while Chinese students had to apply for new visas each time they left and re-entered the U.S.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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