Extensions of Visa Validity Periods for Chinese Nationals

Maria del Carmen Ramos
Maria del Carmen Ramos

This week, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) released additional changes to its Reciprocity Table following President Barack Obama’s announcement of a new, reciprocal 10-year visa policy between the United States and China. The Reciprocity Table shows the maximum length of time for which a particular type of visa can be issued and the maximum number of times the visa holder can travel and enter into the United States.

Previously, visas issued by either country were issued for a maximum period of one year. Under the new visa policy, citizens of each country will be able to travel between the two countries for up to 10 years on a single visa.

Specifically, as of November 12, 2014, Chinese nationals and their dependents will be eligible for these extended validity periods when seeking the following visas:

  • B1/B2 (business tourists) visa will increase from a one year validity period to 10 years and be eligible for multiple entries
  • F-1 (students), J-1 (trainees), and M-1 (vocational) visas will increase from a one year validity period to 5 years and be eligible for multiple entries

While Chinese authorities have yet to announce reciprocal changes to their corresponding visa categories for U.S. nationals traveling to China, an announcement is expected in the next few days.

Citizens of both countries are expected to benefit from these bilateral extensions to visa validity. Designed to promote relations between the two nations, the new policy is expected to significantly increase business and tourism. In addition, due the fact that individuals no longer have to worry about obtaining yearly visa stamps, the increased validity periods could result in an increase in the number of people applying for visas under these visa categories.

For more information, please contact Maria del Carmen Ramos at813.227.2252 or mramos@slk-law.com.

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