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USA to Reduce Wait Times For Visitor Visas

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Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar (FL-27) and Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-03) introduced the bipartisan Visitor Visa Wait Time Reduction Act.

This bill addresses the extreme, years-long wait times for visitor (nonimmigrant) visa appointments at the U.S. State Department.

The bill requires the State Department to outline specific steps to address this problem at each diplomatic post where the wait time for a visitor visa appointment exceeds 100 days.

To directly reduce wait times, it also temporarily reassigns staff from other State Department offices to diplomatic posts where the wait time for a nonimmigrant visa appointment exceeds 300 days.

"The current wait times for non-immigrant visas are totally unacceptable and the State Department must take action to address this,” said Rep. Salazar.

“Many of my constituents are suffering from this backlog, which keeps them from seeing their family members and hurts our local businesses which rely on tourism.”

“While Las Vegas is bouncing back as the travel and tourism capital of the world, unreasonably long tourist visa processing wait times are still stifling our tourism economy and hampering our recovery,” said Rep. Lee

“These long wait times not only hurt business, they also keep families from visiting their loved ones in the United States. Business travelers are missing conventions and conferences, and families are missing weddings, births, and graduations—all because of these delays. This bipartisan legislation is a common-sense step to help clear the tourist visa backlog and revitalize our international travel and tourism industry in Las Vegas and across the country.”

Additional cosponsors of the bill include Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02), David J. Trone (MD-06), Carlos Gimenez (FL-26), Susan Wild (PA-07), Dina Titus (NV-01), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Steven Horsford (NV-04), John B. Larson (CT-01), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Ed Case (HI-01), Annie Kuster (NH-02), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), and Stacey E. Plaskett (USVI).

The legislation is supported by the U.S. Travel Association.

U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said, “We must stop turning away international travelers due to 400-plus day wait times that visitor visa applicants are facing worldwide. It is absolutely unacceptable and a significant deterrent to our national economic recovery. We applaud the bipartisan legislative action introduced by Reps. Salazar (R-FL) and Lee (D-NV) that directs the U.S. State Department to address this urgent problem. Spending by international travelers is critical to getting the U.S. economy back on track, and reducing visa wait times and welcoming these visitors should be a focused national priority.”

 

 

 

 

 

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