July 12th, 2012
07:10 PM ET

Visitors to United States find getting visas is taking less time

By Jill Dougherty

Demand for visas to visit the United States is growing, but getting one, for many foreigners, has sometimes meant frustratingly long waits for interviews and processing. The State Department struggled to keep up, but this year it took steps to improve.

Now, the department says, it has chalked up some victories.

Consular officers in China - at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and consulates general in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenyang - just hit the million mark, processing more than 1 million non-immigrant visa applications so far in fiscal year 2012, while reducing the wait time for a visa interview appointment to approximately one week.

On Thursday, when CNN clicked on the "Visa Wait Time" page at travel.state.gov, the wait in Beijing was three days.

The million visas total 43% more than the same period last fiscal year, when the State Department processed just more than 675,000 visa applications from Chinese citizens.

The State Department says it increased staff, improved work flow, implemented a pilot program to waive the in-person interview requirement in certain instances, and made some other changes in procedures "without compromising border security."

Demand for U.S. visas also is growing in Brazil. There, consular staff processed almost 44% more visa applications in fiscal year 2012 than the same period last year. In Mexico they completed 36% more applications.

China and Mexico are the only two U.S. Missions that process more than 1 million visa applications each year, but the State Department says Brazil is on track to become the third.

Getting more visas into the hands of international tourists and students means money for the U.S. tourism industry. The White House says that last year, international spending on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services set a record of $153 billion, an 8.1% increase from 2010.

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Oleg

    Establishing Visas for Citizens' Family Members to Visit

    The Problem

    Can you imagine that your mother, father, child, brother, or sister would be turned away at the border when you invite them to visit? But welcomed as immigrants? It's happening on routine basis.

    Family members of US citizens from visa waiver countries can visit routinely for 90 days at a time. But those from countries where a visa is required are often denied a visitor’s visa on the statutory presumption that they intend to immigrate, rather than visit.

    Parents are often denied visas because they are retired, of limited means, and without many, if any, living relatives at home. Adult children and siblings can also be denied because they do not have family members living at home.

    Even spouses of US citizens who live abroad are denied tourist visas, often in cases where family assets are held in the name of the US citizen, or if the non-US citizen spouse is retired or a stay at home parent.

    Yet in all these cases, US citizens can sponsor their family members to immigrate.

    It makes no sense - after prolonged family separations, many family members immigrate to the United States only because they were denied the privilege of visiting.

    The Solution

    We propose the establishment of visa to allow US citizens to sponsor family members to visit.

    http://www.americanfamiliesunited.org/nonimmigrant

    February 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  2. app store

    Wonderful paintings! This is the type of information that are meant to be shared across the net. Shame on the search engines for no longer positioning this publish upper! Come on over and discuss with my site . Thanks =)

    January 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  3. dashenburg

    Its true that getting a <a href=http://www.easyvisa.com.ph/visa application for USA takes a long time. I remember during the time I applied for a visa it took me about month for waiting before they had my papers finally processed. I just hope that there could be changes soon, so it would be lesser stress and less hassle.

    August 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  4. ROBERTO NOGUEIRA

    My point is American embassy in Brazil is very Corruption Because for they Fifit time my mother ben Re appling to come to Disney in Orlando-florida wich her Grandkids and a Employee at american embassy always say oh Reapplying again they play wich a 64 year old woman.i have all prove

    July 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  5. ROBERTO NOGUEIRA

    Maria Auxiliadora Siqueira Nogueira‏

    6/15/12

    Reply ▼

    CARTWRIGHT MOORE SENADOR WASHINGTON

    To roberto.dallas@hotmail.com, pranhadaamzaonia@sbcglobal.net

    Hotmail Active View

    1 attachment (156.7 KB)

    Q8231.pdf

    Download(156.7 KB)

    Download as zip

    Please have your mother present this at her interview

    Cartwright Moore

    Senior Caseworker

    Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

    National Press Building

    529 14th ST NW STE 900

    Washington, DC 20045-1928

    Tel: (202) 783-5065

    Fax: (202) 783-5211

    Email: Cartwright.Moore@Mail.House.Gov

    July 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  6. ROBERTO NOGUEIRA

    For fift time we ben appling,this is not True because you guys say who is Gilda Nogueira,who is Bruno Nogueira and my mother say they are my kids and they are in Manaus,Brasil and a employee name Eric "not Last name" say to my mother We know you have ties to Brazil you daugther Gilda Nogueira and Bruno Nogueira is in U.S illegally and i m sorry Re-applying againg.We already Provet to they american embassy in manaus wich mrs. Sharon Nelson That my sister gilda Nogeira and Bruno Nogueira is in Manaus is you call or email Mrs.Sharon Nelson in manaus This ben clarfield and we won"t be here.

    American Consular Agency in Manaus, Brazil
    Edificio Atrium Sala 306
    Rua Franco de Sá, 310
    69079-210 Manaus, AM
    Brazil

    (+55) 55-92-611-3333

    conagm@internext.com.br

    July 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  7. ROBERTO NOGUEIRA

    --------------------------–
    From: roberto.dallas@hotmail.com
    To: brasiliavisa@state.gov; consularbrasilia@state.gov; brasiliaacs@state.gov; roberto.dallas@hotmail.com; cartwright.moore@mail.house.gov
    Subject: KAHINA ROBINSON!!!!
    Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2012 19:17:28 -0400

    Mrs Robinson!!!!

    This situation is Absurd Because my Family Never ,never living in U.S inllegal,Yes my Sister Marrying a U.S Citizen in 2004 BUT they Divorce in 2009 Between this Time She and Her Son Bruno Nogueira Gomes is in Manaus Always,They Never Living Manaus,Brazil .

    Her Relationship and Because SHE dont want to move to U.S. So She sing they divorce paper,and send to Her Husband and Thee years later she Marrying MR.RAIMUNDO IRINEU NUNES, and now they couple have a Beautiful little girl name AMANDA NUNES also my mother Appling for Her Turist Visa as you can see on my Mother Fifth Applications.

    Now you say to my Mother Re-appling again?This is NOT Fare you Guys Have my 64 Years Old woman as a Claud Because take two (2) minutes for you Guys Dismiss Her,Well She is my Mother!!! and I m Very Sad Because you Guys also Ridiculous if my mother going to stay of course I Cord Appling for Her Green-Card .
    Also Amanda Nunes Her Granddaughter is Gilda Nogueira Doughter that is a Prove that she never Living Brasil.On 10/06/2012 My Mother went to they Consular Office in Manaus wich Gilda Nogueira and Bruno Nogueira talk to Mrs Neson,Sheron And explained to Mrs. Nelson whats Going on Mrs Nelson say she going to Contact you guys and say that she met Gilda and Bruno Nogueira in Her Office.

    What"s My Mother Can do to prove that she come for 8 Days wich her Grandkids to Disney?

    What"s i can do to help?

    Some one be aibor to fix this issue.

    Roberto Nogueira
    1100 1st se #1307
    Washington dc 20003
    phone: 202 290583

    ps:MARIA AUXIADORA SIQUEIRA NOGUEIRA

    PASSPORT# FF959137

    July 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  8. ccsroscoe@gmail.com

    They can come thru mexico and pick tomatoes for .19 cents an hour like everyone else.

    July 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  9. lance

    so what, keep them out.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  10. CharlieSeattle

    Media misses immigration angle in jobs analysis
    By Jeremy Beck, Friday, July 13, 2012, 9:18 AM EDT

    Over the past three months, the economy has created an average of 75,000 new jobs and the federal government has created an average of 75,000 new permanent U.S. job seekers via immigration. The mainstream media does not report the latter statistic. For years, NumbersUSA has talked about the 75,000 permanent work permits the federal government grants (on average) to immigrant workers every month. For the last three months, job creation has barely kept pace with the number of green cards issued – a fact that eluded the press and, therefore, much of the citizenry.

    Reporters do a slightly better job in acknowledging population growth's connection to the employment situation. Unemployment numbers are effected not just by new jobs created but by new workers seeking those jobs:
    • "We added 80,000 jobs in June. That’s not enough to keep up with population growth." (The June jobs report in one word: ‘unchanged’ Washington Post)
    • "The economy added only 80,000 jobs in June—much less than what is needed to keep up with natural population growth." (Jobs growth painfully slow; unemployed to remain too high for years The Statesman Journal)

    But what the Stateman Journal explicitly states, and the Washington Post implies (that U.S. population growth is a completely natural phenomenon), is not true. In fact, U.S. population growth is primarily engineered by Congress via immigration policy. Seventy-five percent of U.S. population growth between 2000 and 2010 was due to 13.1 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) and 8.2 million births to immigrant mothers in that decade and the Census Bureau projects "86 percent of the population growth during the year 2050 may be due to the effects of post-1992 net immigration." The mainstream media hasn't made the connection and has never questioned the government's forced-growth policies during high unemployment.

    Read the rest and more unreported news about illegal aliens at: NumbersUSA (dot) com

    July 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  11. James Reuland

    Great news! Many of my European friends would like to visit America, but have been put off by the visa process, and sometimes its cost. Tourism can build friendships that America wants and needs. In my experience, the American Consular Service does an excellent job in Citizen's Services and they deserve to be complimented! I wish that my European friends always felt that the visa process was equally friendly. Apparently it would not only be good diplomacy, but a rather good investment. So, it is indeed good news that this Administration is honoring a pledge to make it all work better.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:09 am | Reply

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