US, China to Extend Visa Agreement - Channel NewsAsia
BEIJING: US President Barack Obama announced Monday (Nov 10) a deal to extend visas for Chinese nationals going to the United States to work or study, insisting he wants China “to do well” despite simmering tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
“The United States welcomes the rise of a prosperous, peaceful and stable China,” Obama said in a speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing. But he urged China to free up its markets and its tightly controlled exchange rate, and respect human rights and media freedoms.
The visa deal will see student and exchange visas extended to five years, with business and tourist visas’ validity stretched out to a decade.
There were 1.8 million Chinese visitors to the US last year, Obama said, contributing US$21 billion to the economy and supporting more than 100,000 jobs. “This agreement could help us more than quadruple those numbers,” he said, describing it as an “important breakthrough which will benefit our economies, bring our people together”.
The arrangement is supposed to be reciprocal, so I’m crossing my fingers that I won’t need to go through my annual work visa renewal after next year.