ABA in a joint letter with the U.S. Travel Association and other travel and tourism stakeholders to President Donald Trump, urged the White House to reconsider a June 21, 2017 executive order that eliminates a provision that created a Department of State policy to ensure that 80 percent of non-immigrant visa applicants are interviewed within three weeks of submitting a visa application.
“Our industry strongly supports thorough efforts to ensure international visitors who are entering the U.S. do not overstay their visas and/or to commit acts of terrorism or other crimes. We also support a world-class and efficient visa process that can effectively and securely manage the millions of visa applications submitted each year. After years of needless visa backlogs, the State Department has made great progress, reducing inefficiencies to decrease wait times to manageable levels.”
The President’s removal of this provision, as well as any hiring delays or freeze at the Department of State, will slow down the timely and efficient processing of visa applications. The $2.3 billion U.S. travel and tourism industry and 15.3 million American jobs in the industry are dependent on timely and efficient visa processing. Any delays caused by the executive order will have a direct economic impact on the nation’s economy and millions of jobs.
ABA urges the White House to reconsider the order and include a clear statement ensuring timely and efficient visa processing for legitimate international travelers.