One million visas, that is, served up this year to Chinese applicants. Here's the
On December 14 at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, Ambassador Gary Locke presented the one millionth visa adjudicated in China this year. With the help of additional personnel and process improvements, Mission China has also successfully reduced the average wait time for a visa interview appointment to less than one week.
Since taking up his post in China, Ambassador Locke has emphasized the importance of travel and trade between the two nations. According to the Department of Commerce, in 2010, more than 800,000 Chinese visitors contributed $5 billion to the U.S. economy.
More Chinese visitors will create more jobs and opportunities in the U.S. travel and tourism industries. In addition to ongoing efforts to keep visa wait times low, the United States is encouraging the Chinese government to extend visa reciprocity to allow both U.S. and Chinese travelers longer validity visas, which is in the interests of both nations.
Next year's goal is to adjudicate more than 2 million visas in China (see this interview).