U.S. Travel Visa Process Hindering Economic Growth
The processing of travel visas in the US has long been criticized by business groups as being too slow and arbitrary. Now the industrial sector is arguing that it has reached the point of being detrimental to exports and local business trade.
Since Sept. 11, the approval of travel visas by US embassies went through a drastic overhaul. Authorities were given even more stringent control procedures to follow when it came to approving travel visa applicants.
Nothing has changed since those first dark days of terrorism that helped instigate new upgrades to travel controls and procedures nationwide.
While US borders are deemed as safer against the threat from outside terror sources, the implications it has had on the business sector are seen by some as quite staggering. In this time of world wide economic recession, it is of the utmost importance for leaders of business and industry to be able to travel the globe quickly in order to help acquire new business and attend to time sensitive negotiations.
The economy depends greatly on the freedom of trade between countries. US Trade expos and even smaller business exhibitions rely greatly on the ability of manufacturers and buyers from around the world being able to get together to strike deals and form new partnerships.
Trade groups are voicing that while the rest of the world is busy bending over backwards to acquire new business, the new stringent US travel visa controls are actually making it harder for manufacturers and buyers to get together.
US business is crying out that it is losing its edge to overseas competitors, due to increased red tape and slow and cumbersome visa processing procedures.
Foreign business travelers who are seen as crucial in helping an already ailing US economy are not coming to American shores. They simply choose to buy a competitors product from another part of the world, without going through all the time consuming red tape associated with a US visa process.
The State Department does not deny that the new procedures may be more encumbering to visitors. Embassies which see higher levels of visa applications have had staff levels boosted.
China, India and Brazil are the countries worst affected by US visa policies.
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