WASHINGTON (CN) – President Barack Obama ordered the Departments of State and Homeland Security to speed up visa processing for foreign business travelers wishing to enter the United States.
Citing a 30 percent decrease over the last decade in the U.S. share of spending by international travelers, Obama said he wants to see a 40 percent increase in nonimmigrant visa processing capacity in China and Brazil by 2013.
The president also said resources need to be in place by that time to ensure that 80 percent of nonimmigrant visa applicants are interviewed within 3 weeks of receipt of their application.
In an executive order setting the goals, Obama also created a task force to develop a travel and competiveness strategy to integrate the efforts of all federal agencies to encourage and streamline travel to the U.S. without sacrificing security.
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