Integrity Legal

24th June 2010

This blog routinely discusses interesting issues associated with American Immigration and US Embassies and Consulates overseas. That being said, in a recent press release from the American State Department it was noted that Officers at the US Embassy in China are opening their facilities in order to assist in processing the extremely large number of visa applications made by Chinese nationals who are seeking admission to the United States. The following is a direct quote from the aforementioned press release:

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing, along with four U.S. consulates general across China, is opening on Saturdays over the next few weeks to accommodate thousands of Chinese travelers seeking visas to visit the United States.

Trade, commerce, people-to-people exchanges, and tourism between China and the United States have grown dramatically over the past couple years. In 2009, U.S. consulates in China issued more than 487,000 visas to Chinese travelers. Sixty-six percent of these visas were for business and tourism. Growth in 2010 has been even more dramatic. China’s 2010 visa load is up 28 percent over the same period last year.


“We’re excited about the extraordinary growth in visa demand in China and what it means for our countries’ deepening economic and interpersonal relationship,” said Janice Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs. “We expect this trend to continue and are actively increasing staffing in our Embassy and consulates. We also introduced new technologies to improve our efficiency while providing more convenient procedures for applicants.”


“While we’re pleased about increased Chinese interest in traveling to the United States, we are not pleased by the increased wait times for a visa appointment,” observed U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr. “We applaud the efforts of our Consular staff and the Bureau of Consular Affairs to think creatively and boost resources to help clear the backlog. I witnessed our team’s dedication when I visited the Consular Section last week.”

This author applauds the efforts of the US Embassies and Consulates in China. The attitude taken toward the backlog of pending applications in China is similar to the attitude taken by the US Embassy in Bangkok regarding the backlog arising from recent unrest in the city. In Thailand, this author is pleased to have been witness to the exceptionally diligent efforts of the Consular Officers and support staff at the US Consulate in Bangkok as they cleared a rather large caseload which arose as a result of the extended closure of the Post due to the protests that broke out in the district in which the Post is located.

Although the US Immigration process can be rather cumbersome, it is nice to see that officers in the Department of State are taking active measures to creatively and efficiently deal with what could be viewed by others as an overwhelming work load.


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