14 June 2011

Need for US visa reform highlighted by Obama's Jobs Council

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The US Travel Association has cited US visa policy as the single greatest obstacle to many potential visitors to America, claiming that without visa reform, the country will not achieve the economic growth that comes with increased tourism.

In a response to the recommendations made by President Obama's Jobs and Competitiveness Council, the US Travel Association has stated that the US visa process for foreign visitors must be improved.

The US Travel Association's President and CEO, Roger Dow, said: "On behalf of the 14 million workers whose jobs are supported by travel in America, we applaud President Obama's Jobs and Competitiveness Council for recognizing the importance of welcoming millions of new visitors to America's shores. Overseas travelers to the United States spend in excess of $4,000, and every 35 visitors creates one new job.

"The President's Council is astute in focusing on the need to improve our visa policy – the single greatest obstacle to visiting the United States. Last year foreign travel in the United States supported 931,000 jobs directly in the U.S. travel industry and another 856,000 jobs in other industries. But a new report from U.S. Travel reveals how 1.3 million new jobs could be created with appropriate and cost-effective reforms.

"The President's Jobs Council joins US Travel, the Service Employees International Union, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation, Consumer Electronics Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association and National Restaurant Association in recognizing the value of visa reform. These and many other groups recently joined U.S. Travel in re-launching the Discover America Partnership, a coalition dedicated to welcoming more visitors to the United States through reforms that enhance America's security and streamline our visa process."

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their ESTA application to the US Embassy.

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