New Agreement Between U.S. and China Extends Validity Period for Business, Tourist, and Student Visas


In an address at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), President Obama announced today that the U.S. and China have come to an agreement to extend the validity periods of business, tourist, and student visas.  Currently, these visas are only issued for one-year increments.  Under the new agreement, multiple entry business and tourist visas will be issued for periods of ten years at a time.  Student visas will be valid for five years.

While the visa validity extension agreement—which goes into effect as of November 12, 2014—has been touted as a “game changer” by at least one White House official, the agreement may be more measured in its practical impact.  Although travelers will now be able to use one visa multiple times over several years, the amount of time a visa holder may spend in the country during any single trip will remain unchanged.

Nevertheless, the visa extension agreement is expected to have a significant impact on U.S.-China relations, fostering increased tourism and direct business interactions among the two countries.  In his statement earlier today, President Obama noted that 1.8 million Chinese visitors contributed $21 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 100,000 American jobs last year.  According to the President, “[t]his agreement could help us more than quadruple those numbers.”

This post originally appeared on WOLFSDORF Immigration Law Group on November 10, 2014. Reprinted with permission


About The Author

Matthew Beatus Matthew E. Beatus is an Associate in the firm's New York office. Mr. Beatus specializes in all areas of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications with a focus on employment-based and other business related visa categories. He assists a full range of professionals in achieving their unique immigration goals, including investors, artists, engineers, and key multinational corporate managers/employees. Mr. Beatus also assists individuals in obtaining U.S. citizenship and Adjustments of Status to legal permanent residency, as well as in troubleshooting immigration challenges through affirmative and responsive motions, federal appeals, and waivers for visa ineligibility. In addition, Mr. Beatus has developed an expertise in global immigration policy, which allows him to advise clients about how their immigration needs and solutions fit within broader immigration policy frameworks, particularly as new legislation is enacted and implemented throughout the United States and abroad.

A native of Miami, Florida, Mr. Beatus earned his B.A. from Williams College where he majored in English and Sociology. He earned his J.D. cum laude from New York Law School, where he concentrated in immigration law and international human rights law. Mr. Beatus also studied International Migration & Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He writes frequently on topical immigration issues and contributed to Immigration and Nationality Law: Problems and Strategies, an immigration law casebook.

Mr. Beatus can be reached at

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