The White House green lights a big change in the U.S. China visa program!
Starting November 12, the U.S. and China will increase the validity of short-term business and tourist visas to ten years – the longest possible under U.S. law – issued to each other’s citizens.
The big announcement of extending the short term Chinese tourist and business visas from one year to ten years is great news for Guam and here’s why: A boost to the economy as a whole, from an increase in tourism, business opportunities and jobs for our people.
The release from the White House says Chinese rank the U.S. as their most-desired travel destination, but don’t like going through the visa process every single year. Now with that limitation gone, we can expect more of them to visit.
Governor Eddie Calvo explains how our island will benefit. He says, “The potential for what that means for Guam in terms on investment and more tourists coming to this island, with that, additional tax revenues, improvement in services, also jobs.”
How many tourists are we expecting? According to the release, China is the fastest-growing outbound tourism market in the world. The U.S. expects to welcome 7.3 million Chinese visitors by the year 2020, which means an additional $85 billion dollars of revenue a year supporting up to 440,000 U.S. jobs. Imagine the effect on our small island.
Immigration Lawyer Juan Carlos Benitez, “Even at 1% of that, it would be a huge boom to our economy.”
Guam Visitors Bureau General Manager Karl Pangelinan says they will continue to push for a visa waiver and work hard with tourism partners in growing the China market and promoting our island paradise.
Benitez says, “I really think this is a positive step to a potential visa-waiver program for Guam and the NMI.”
Governor Calvo says, “I am planning on a trip to Washington in a couple of months to focus on that issue on the visa-waiver program.”