January 5, 2015 — The United States and Chinese governments have entered into agreement to extend visa validity to citizens of both countries in an attempt to promote economic growth, resulting from last month’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Beijing.
Increased Validity Request
According to the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs, US nationals may now submit visa applications requesting validities of 5 to 10 years. Inversely, Chinese nationals are likewise eligible to apply for longer US visas up to 10 years in validity. The longer visa length, extended from 1 year to 5 or 10 years, is limited to leisure, business, and study travel only. Specifically, L (tourist), M (business), Q2 (family visit), and S2 visa (family visit with work or study privileges) are eligible for the new maximum 10 years validity; X1 visas (study) are extended to up to 5 years. Approvals are at the discretion of the Chinese Consulate or Embassy with jurisdiction over the application.
Requirements Remain the Same
With the exception of the aforementioned limited activities, the increase in visa duration will have no impact on current requirements and all current document checklists remain unchanged. Renewing or making changes to the applicant’s passport during the valid duration will have no effect on the visa.
*AIReS worked with Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, LLP, in preparation of this bulletin. This document contains information contributed by Fragomen and is intended for informational purposes only. This summary does not constitute legal advice nor should it be a substitute for specific legal advice in any situation.
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