20 April 2011

20 year plan to streamline US visa system announced

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US Bureau of Consular Affairs assistant secretary Janice Jacobs has referenced a 20 year plan to improve the US visa system on a recent trip to Australia, addressing concerns that an "inefficient" visa process was limiting tourism to America.

US Visa

A 20 year plan to improve the US visa system has been announced by Janice Jacobs on a recent trip to Australia.

Speaking on the need to improve US Visa services for international visitors to America, Ms Jacobs said "We are trying to be as efficient as we can be."

She continued "We know that in China, India and Brazil, we are going to need more people and more focus."

Ms Jacobs also noted that the realisation that tourism to the USA accounts for millions of jobs and billions of dollars of revenue was helping people begin to understand the need to boost the number of tourists to the United States.

However, given the strictness of the new laws introduced after 9/11 to govern entry to the US, Ms Jacobs acknowledged that to “get back some of the discretion I had before that time, I would need to change those laws”.

Ms Jacobs' comments follow similar remarks made by Amy Klobuchar, Democratic Senator of Minnesota and Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion. 

Senator Klobuchar spoke out on the need to not take foreign visitors for granted, saying "It doesn’t do much good to promote the U.S. to foreign travellers when those foreign travellers can’t get a visa for months to visit the United States of America."

Unfortunately for many international travellers, while the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) makes the process of applying for entry to the United States relatively quick and easy for citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries, other foreign visitors do not face quite such a simple process.


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

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