Our visa process plays a critical role in advancing economic opportunity and public diplomacy while ensuring our national security and protecting the traveling public. While much progress has been made in reducing wait times to obtain visas, we should always look for opportunities to continue to make the process more efficient and accessible.
Nearly 38 million overseas travelers visited the U.S. in 2016, spending an average of $4,363 per trip. While many of these travelers arrive from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program, millions of visitors come from expanding markets such as China, Brazil and India. In fact, between 2013 and 2019 the number of visitors from countries needing visas to come to the U.S. is expected to grow dramatically, including China (171%), Colombia (72%), India (47%) and Brazil (43%).
An important element in welcoming these valuable visitors is our visa process, which protects America and the traveling public. U.S. Travel is continually working with our federal partners to make our visa process more efficient and accessible so America can reap the benefit of these high value travelers who benefit our economy and local communities, and return home with a more favorable view of our country.
J-1 Visa Program
J-1 cultural and work exchange visa programs are critical to filling seasonal positions at many travel and tourism businesses during peak seasons. Often, Americans in communities with ski resorts or national parks, for example, need full-time, year-round work, whereas those on J-1 visas can provide much needed support during high-demand times throughout the year.
Ending the J-1 cultural and work exchange visa programs would be detrimental to many in the travel and tourism community who would not be able to serve as many visitors without access to these staffing resources. Visit Americans for Cultural Exchange for more details.