The FINANCIAL -- Starting November 12, the United States and the People’s Republic of China will reciprocally increase the validity of short-term business and tourist visas and student and exchange visas issued to each other’s citizens, according to the U.S. State Department.
Chinese applicants who qualify for a B-category nonimmigrant visa (NIV) may now be issued multiple-entry visas for up to 10 years for business and tourist travel. Qualified Chinese students and exchange visitors and their dependents who qualify for F, M, or J-category visas are now eligible for multiple-entry visas valid for up to five years or the length of their program. U.S. citizens eligible for Chinese short term business and tourist visas should also receive multiple-entry visas valid for up to 10 years, while qualified U.S. students may receive student residency permits valid up to five years, depending on the length of their educational program.
Benefits of Visa Validity Extension:
The reciprocal extension of visa validity to 10 years for short-term business and tourist travel between China and the United States will increase travel and exchanges, enhance mutual understanding between our countries, and benefit our economies by increasing the ease of trade and investment. Ten years is the longest visa validity possible under U.S. law.
This new arrangement will be more convenient and less costly for travelers. Prior to this, Chinese and American business travelers and tourists had to apply annually if visiting the United States or China each year.
Until now, many Chinese students who left the United States for short visits abroad were required to apply for new visas. Under the new arrangement, Chinese students will find it easier and more convenient to return home because in many cases they will not be required to obtain new visas prior to returning to the United States to study.
The arrangement underscores the U.S. commitment to promote bilateral tourism and trade and increase opportunities for people-to-people engagement.