BEIJING (AP) – The U.S. Embassy in China is promising to streamline visa requests and hire more people to process applicants as part of President Barack Obama’s push to boost tourism to the United States.
The embassy said in a statement Thursday that it will expand its visa processing capacity by opening new facilities in Guangzhou and Shanghai and adding around 50 new consular officers across the country.
That would be a 50 percent increase in staffing.
The embassy says it will launch a program on Monday to allow officers to waive interviews for some qualified applicants who are renewing their visas.
It says it processed 1 million non-immigrant visa applications in China last year, up 34 percent from the previous year.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)