China, U.S. Expand Durations of Visas for Tourists, Businessmen, and Students

In a joint effort to further promote economic and cultural exchanges, China and the United States have reached a reciprocal agreement to lengthen the validity periods of visas for tourists, businessmen, and students.

By the terms of the new deal made, American businessmen and tourists traveling to China – and Chinese visitors of the U.S. - can apply for visas that will be valid for up ten years. Before the issuance of the new policy, business visa and tourist visas were for durations of six months and one year.

For American students who want to study in China and Chinese students who are going to schools in the U.S., visa duration is five years. This saves the students the trouble of renewing their visa on a yearly basis. During the valid period of a visa, a visitor can make multiple entries of a foreign country.

U.S. President Obama announced the visa agreement in Beijing, where he was to attend the APEC summit this year. The new policy goes into effect on November 12.

Statistics released by the China’s National Tourism Administration show that in 2013 about one million Americans visited China.  According to U.S. officials, in 2013 a total of 1.8 million Chinese visited the United States.