U.S. Travel Association is bringing attention to the millions of travelers who seek to visit the United States, but confront a de facto border closure in the way of 400-800 day wait times to receive a visa. Today, the association launches a new website, USVisaDelays.com, that will feature the voices of those most affected by excessive visitor visa interview wait times: global travelers and U.S. businesses.
“There are no better voices to tell the personal toll of America’s de facto border closure than the people, families and American businesses directly impacted by egregious visa wait times,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “The Biden administration must focus on what is in its control and take immediate action to lower wait times—we simply cannot afford to give travelers any reason to avoid visiting the United States.”
The website launches as wait times for U.S. visitor visas exceed an average of 400 days for the top 10 markets, and as wait times in key international markets such as Brazil, India and Mexico worsen. U.S. Travel estimates that the U.S. will lose nearly 7 million potential visitors and $12 billion in projected spending in 2023 due to excessive wait times. Recent information suggests the State Department has made progress in several visa categories, but not in the area of B-1 and B-2 visitor visas.
“Visitors in some of America’s most valuable markets are now waiting more than two years for an interview to visit the U.S.,” said Freeman. “That’s an unacceptable breakdown that the Biden administration must take immediate steps to correct.”
In addition to seeking real-life stories from potential visitors and businesses, the website also hosts fact sheets and data that detail U.S. economic losses due to excessive wait times, and highlights policy priorities to help alleviate the backlog and expedite processing in key source markets.
USVisaDelays.com is the latest activation in U.S. Travel’s ‘They Wait, We Lose’ campaign, which seeks to highlight the steep economic cost of delaying visitation from qualified international travelers. The launch of the English language website will be followed next week by custom websites in both Spanish and Portuguese.
The advocacy effort will feature across social media platforms using the hashtag #TheyWaitWeLose.
Please click here to visit the USVisaDelays.com website.
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. Travelers in the United States are estimated to spend $1.1 trillion in 2022 (still 10% below 2019 levels). U.S. Travel advocates for policies to accelerate an even recovery across the travel industry and restore economic and job growth for this essential contributor to our nation’s success. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.