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Stakeholders Voice Concern Over Visa Processing Times: A Letter to Trump

The executive orders keep coming.

The travel industry keeps responding.

On July 17, 2017, 19 travel and tourism associations joined the U.S. Travel Association in sending a joint letter to President Donald Trump, urging the administration to reconsider an executive order that could increase visa application processing times.

Issued on June 21, 2017, Executive Order 13802 amended a previous executive order (Executive Order 13597: Establishing Visa and Foreign Visitor Processing Goals and the Task Force on Travel and Competitiveness) in a manner that eliminates a provision that created a Department of State policy to ensure that 80 percent of nonimmigrant visa applicants are interviewed within three weeks of submitting a visa application.

"We are concerned that the removal of this provision will negatively impact consular affairs operations, and the timely processing of visas for prospective travelers," travel and tourism stakeholders write.

Trump's removal of the provision could slow down the timely and efficient processing of visa applications—which will affect the $2.3 billion economic output of the travel and tourism industry, as well as its 15.3 million jobs.

"We strongly support thorough efforts to ensure international visitors are not entering the U.S. with the intent to overstay their visas, or to commit acts of terrorism or other crimes. We also support a world class and efficient visa process that effectively and securely manages the millions of visa applications submitted each year."

The U.S. Travel Association and other stakeholders request Trump reconsider the order and include a clear statement ensuring timely and efficient visa processing for legitimate international travelers.

To read the letter in full, click here.

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.


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