Boosting Inbound Tourism : U.S. Allocates $50 Million to Slash Visa Wait Times

In a significant move to streamline the entry process for international visitors, the United States Congress has passed legislation earmarking $50 million to the Department of State with the aim of cutting down the long visa wait times. The funding, part of the government spending package H.R.2882, approved on March 23, is set to make the U.S. more accessible to global travellers by enhancing the efficiency of visa processing.

The legislative action comes in response to growing concerns over the lengthy delays in visitor visa interview waiting periods, which have averaged 400 days in some of the top-ranking markets. This initiative is not only expected to facilitate smoother travel experiences but also to spur growth in inbound visitation, reinforcing the U.S.'s position as a premier global destination.

Towards a More Welcoming America

The allocation of funds is a strategic move to address the backlog and operational challenges that have plagued visa processing times, exacerbated by the pandemic. The State Department had previously announced in December that passport processing times had reverted to pre-pandemic norms, processing documents within 6-8 weeks for routine service and 2-3 weeks for expedited service. Read more-(