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Practice Note
DOS Expands Reciprocity Period for B Visas for Chinese Nationals

O January 13, 2005, the U.S. Department of State announced that beginning from January 15, 2005, eligible Chinese nationals who wish to visit the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or tourism (B-2) will be issued visas that are valid for 12 months and multiple entries.

As a reciprocity, the Chinese government also has agreed to issue to U.S. citizens visiting China on temporary business and tourism visas valid for 12 months and multiple entries. The visa issuance, however, is subject to case-by-case determination by the counsels, and each side may limit the period of validity and number of entries as required by law and regulation.

This reciprocal measure adopted by the two countries will generate significant benefit to business and tourist travelers between the two sides by saving time and money by reducing the need to apply visas often.

According to the news release, in 2004, the U.S. Embassy and the four U.S. consulates in China issued 228,600 nonimmigrant visas. Of these, 173,140, or more than 77 percent, were temporary visas for business (B-1) or tourism (B-2). We hope this new reciprocity between the two superpowers can enhance the communication between the two and the traveling, trading, and visiting affected by the tightened security check between the two as a result of 9-11 can be recovered.

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