Beginning January 15, 2005, eligible Chinese nationals who wish to visit the
United States temporarily for business (B-1) or tourism (B-2) will
be issued visas that are valid for 12 months and multiple entries.
The previous maximum validity for U.S. visas issued for these purposes
was six months and for multiple entries.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also agreed to reciprocally
issue to U.S. citizens visiting China on temporary business and
tourism visas valid for 12 months and multiple entries.
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign
Affairs exchanged diplomatic notes on this agreement in December
2004. While the United States and China will in principle issue
maximum validity visas to each other’s citizens, on a case-by-case
basis, each side may limit the period of validity and number of
entries as required by law and regulation.
The mutual extension of visa reciprocity will be a significant
benefit to business and tourist travelers between China and the
United States. Frequent American citizen travelers to China will
save time and money with longer visa validity. Frequent Chinese
travelers receiving longer validity visas will need to visit the
U.S. Embassy or Consulates in China less often to renew visas, freeing
embassy and consulate resources to adjudicate other visa applications
In 2004, the U.S. Embassy and the four U.S. consulates in China
issued 228,600 nonimmigrant visas. Of these, 173,140, or more than
77 percent, were temporary visas for business (B-1) or tourism (B-2).