US EASES VISA PROCESS FOR CHINESE DESPITE THEIR CYBER ATTACKS
Jim Kouri, CPP
March 2, 2013
On the same day that a report revealed that Chinese military officials perpetrated the cyber theft of an enormous amount of U.S. government confidential information and private corporate trade secrets, the Obama administration on Wednesday announced it will make it easier for Chinese citizens to obtain American visas.
According to officials familiar with the plans, the White House released a new report on Wednesday that describes steps the U.S. military, intelligence community, law enforcement agencies and private-sector security directors may take to turn the tide against cyber stealing linked to the Chinese government.
At the same time, according to New York Police Lieutenant Stanley Rodgers, the U.S. State Department is planning to launch a new application policy for non-immigrant visa applicants from China in spite of the cyberterrorism and corporate espionage alledgedly perpetrated by the Chinese government.
The Embassy of the United States in Beijing announced on Wednesday that the new policy will begin in March 2013.
According to Ambassador Gary Locke, the State Department will make the application process easier for applicants from China including a reduction in the cost of visa processing for Chinese citizens.
The United States will launch a new application policy for non-immigrant visa applicants from China, promising better customer service and lower costs, the Embassy announced.
"The new policy offers greater convenience for applicants scheduling visa interviews, completing visa processing procedures and checking their visa status, said Amb. Locke.
"Visa applicants will only have to pay a standard processing fee of about 160 U.S. dollars for most non-immigrant visa categories," Locke noted.
Visa services on the Internet will be initiated by the U.S. as part of the new China policy. Applicants will be able to have their visa interviews online, for example.
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In 2012, the waiting time for an appointment was reduced to an average of five days. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing has vowed to continue to improve the system's efficiency.
"The visas are government tools to ensure safe and orderly international travel. And what makes our work worthwhile is the deep and meaningful relationship between our two great peoples," Locke said. "It brings American and Chinese culture together and builds bridges of understanding between us."
� 2013 Jim Kouri- All Rights Reserved