THE Trump administration just made it a little harder for some Chinese citizens looking to work or study in the US to obtain visas.
According to a White House official, the changes will mean shorter visa validity for certain types of visa applicants, specifically students majoring in areas such as robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing.
Apart from students, Chinese visa applicants with backgrounds in similar areas of technology will also be subject to stringent checks.
When the policy comes into effect June 11, persons subject to such checks can expect to be issued only one-year visas, and even then, may have to wait months for clearance.
Currently, Chinese graduate students are typically issued visas valid for multiple entries for the maximum validity of five years. Under the new policy, however, the maximum validity period remains five years but an applicant of this category will no longer enjoy such ease of access.
The change, according to an Associated Press (AP) report, is part of a plan set out by President Donald Trump’s administration to reduce intellectual property theft, which they believe is being taken by the Chinese.
Why is it a big deal for Taiwan to be listed under China?
But why specifically those areas?
China has declared technology as an area of focus for its “Made in China” 2025 manufacturing plan.
While the actual application process won’t change, study and specific work visas are expected to take months to process.
Chinese tourists behaving badly: What is being done?
What’s the good news?
Thankfully, it appears the terms and conditions for Chinse tourists visas in the US haven’t changed… hooray!
A foreigner heading to the US for temporary stay currently has to apply for a nonimmigrant visa; category B-1 for those traveling for work; category B-2 for those on holiday; or a combination of both visas for those on ‘bleisure’ trips.
Over three million Chinese tourists visited the US last year, with that figure expected to rise this year.
Chinese people are the sixth most frequent visitors to the US, and one of the world’s most crucial tourist source markets.
They also spent more in the US in 2016 than tourists from any other country, a whopping US$33 billion to be precise.
It proves the Chinese pay attention to their ancient proverbs, such as “traveling thousands of miles is better than reading thousands of books.”
With the boom of Chinese visitors to the US expected to increase even more in the future, states are investing in infrastructure to keep tourists happy.
Ceasers Palace casino in Las Vegas, for example, has just installed WeChat pay, a popular mobile payment platform in China.
Although only 5 percent of Chinese citizens currently own a passport, the head of China’s most established online travel service, Ctrip predicts this number will double by 2020.
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