American Ambassador Gary Locke Presents 1 millionth visa to Chinese visitor
On December 14, 2011, at the United States Embassy in Beijing, American Ambassador Gary Locke issued visas to visa-applicant Mr. Yu and his family of three.
On December 14, 2011, at the United States Embassy in Beijing, American Ambassador Gary Locke issued visas to visa-applicant Mr. Yu and his family of three. That day, the American Embassy Consulate announced that as of last week, the number of visa applications Mission China has processed this year reached 1 million, an increase of 34 percent from last year. To celebrate this special occasion, the embassy held a special visa issuing ceremony where American Ambassador to China Gary Locke personally handed visas to several Chinese applicants.
According to Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, Charles Bennett, from October 2010 to September 2011, the US embassy and consulates in China have already received 1 million visa applications. Compared with statistics five years ago, the number has doubled.
“China now makes up about 11 percent of the total visa workload for the United States around the world. I think that’s a real significant number, because it really does show the strength of our social and economic ties,” he said.
He also said that the visa approval rate is also very high, that of these 1 million applicants, 90 percent have successfully obtained visas.
Gary Locke said that the US embassy is making efforts to shorten the time to get visa interview appointments to one week. The embassy will also increase the number of visa officers, increase working hours, and add more windows for visa interviews. Moreover, he also hoped to extend the duration of visas for all Chinese people from 1 year to 5 years.