China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA -

On Nov 12, US Sec­re­tary of State JohnKerry handed over the first batch of new10-year tourist visas is­sued by theUSem­bassy in Beijing, and in theweek after the pol­icy change cameinto ef­fect, tens of thou­sands of new visas­were is­sued.

Elaine Liu, a phar­ma­cist in Shang­hai who re­ceived her 10-year visa onNov 20, was ex­cited be­cause she trav­els be­tween China and theUS sev­eral times a year, and the new­pol­icy will save her a lot of time and money.

“In the past, the ap­pli­ca­tion pro­ce­dure for a trip to the US took at least twoweeks and cost $160, but nowI will be able to travel to theUS when­ever Iwant in the com­ing 10 years,” she said.

Be­fore the newar­range­ment, Chi­nese business trav­el­ers and tourists had to ap­ply an­nu­ally if they­wanted to visit theUS ev­ery year.

Kerry said the visa deal will help to growthe economies of both coun­tries, cre­ate more jobs, and lead to cit­i­zens of theUS and China be­com­ing friends.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est statis­tics, theUS pro­cesses more non-im­mi­gra­tion visas in China than any other coun­try, with more than 1.95 mil­lion is­sued dur­ing the last fis­cal year, in­clud­ing more than 316,000 visa ap­pli­ca­tions for Chi­nese stu­dents and ex­change vis­i­tors— a year-on-year in­crease of 12 per­cent.

Chi­nese stu­dents in theUS will ben­e­fit sig­nif­i­cantly fromthe newar­range­ment, which will al­lowthem to travel be­tween the two coun­tries with greater ease and will­make over­seas study a more at­trac­tive op­tion.

Liu Yi, a 21-year-old stu­dent at the Cap­i­tal Nor­mal Univer­sity in­Bei­jing, is con­sid­er­ing­mov­ing over­seas for her master’s de­gree.

“TheUS is def­i­nitely at­trac­tive be­cause it has so­many fa­mous univer­si­ties and the visa pol­icy is nowre­ally con­ve­nient,” she said.

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