While U.S. passport holders can visit 186 locations across the globe without applying for visas in advance, many individuals who wish to visit the U.S. need to apply for and obtain a tourist visa before their trips. Unfortunately, the tourist visa application process can be lengthy and complicated. In addition, individuals often must undergo an interview at an embassy and provide several pieces of documentation related to their travel plans, finances, and more. As a result, the U.S. may miss out on substantial tourist dollars that these visitors would generate yearly.
Getting an interview in some countries can be challenging, if not impossible. Obtaining tourist visas to travel to the U.S. from developing countries tends to be far more difficult than for individuals from wealthy Westernized countries. In some countries, political connections are necessary to have any hope of getting a visa interview.
These barriers may cause some individuals to rethink their plans to visit the U.S. They may choose to visit another country that does not require them to go through a complex visa process or wait a year for a visa interview. It is no secret that U.S. embassies and consulates have struggled to keep up with visa applications after widespread and lengthy closures during the pandemic. In some countries, the wait for an interview is longer than one year. Although the State Department is working to address the backlogs, long wait times still exist in many countries.
Increased Costs of Tourist Visas
The cost of tourist visas also continues to rise along with inflation. It costs $160 per person to apply for a tourist visa, which is good for ten years. However, as inflation has increased, the ratio of foreign currency to the dollar has increased, making visas cost-prohibitive in some countries. Furthermore, even if an applicant doesn’t qualify for a tourist visa or the U.S. rejects the application, the fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
Changing Visa Requirements
In recent years, U.S. visa requirements have become more stringent. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and other incidents of terrorism around the world have occurred, safety and security concerns have caused led to increased requirements for international travel. These security concerns have had particularly hindering effects on the ability of ethnic minority citizens to travel, such as Arab and Muslim travelers. At times, the U.S. also had enacted policies that allegedly single out certain ethnic groups, such as the Trump administration’s previous ban on visitors from several Muslim-majority countries.
Bashyam Global dedicates its efforts to all matters related to immigration law. We handle all types of immigration cases daily. This strong concentration and focus on immigration law allow us to keep up with the federal government’s constant immigration law and policy changes. Call us today at (919) 833-0840 and set up a time to discuss your case.