In an April 18 press release, the U.S. State Department trumpets its progress in reaching the goals set forth by President Obama in his January 2012 executive order on improving visa processing in China and Brazil. With respect to China, the highlights include:
Visa Surge: In China, consular officers issued more than 453,000 visas in the first half of the year, compared to approximately 310,000 visas in the same timeframe in 2011, an increase of 46 percent.
Short Wait Times: On average, applicants wait just five days for an appointment at U.S. consulates in China.
New Visa Issuing Post: The Department of State is exploring whether to add visa-issuance services in Wuhan, China.
Innovative Hiring Program: In another initiative to streamline visa processing without compromising security, the first group of newly hired consular adjudicators recently arrived at U.S. consulates in China.