WASHINGTON, November 10 (Sputnik)- Chinese citizens can apply for multiple-entry business, tourist and student visas for up to 10 years starting on Wednesday, the White House announced amid US President Barack Obama’s visit to China on Monday.
"Both countries [US and China] have agreed to increase the validity of short-term tourist and business visas issued to each other's citizens from one to ten years — the longest validity possible under US — and increase the validity of student and exchange visas from one to five years," a statement from the White House said.
The factsheet outlined that the ten-year visas will allow for augmented travel and exchange cooperation, while at the same time benefiting the economies of the two countries through the creation of more trade and investment opportunities.
As a result of this arrangement, the United States hopes to welcome a growing share of eligible Chinese travelers, inject billions in the US economy and create enough demand to support hundreds of thousands of additional US jobs," the statement added, noting that the legal and security clearance procedures currently in force for all visa applicants will continue to hold good in the case of Chinese travelers.
Prior to this, Chinese nationals had to apply annually when visiting the United States each year.
According to the same statement, Chinese citizens comprise the largest numbers of foreign students in the United States, a group the US government is looking to especially ease the travel process for.
In 2013, the statement underscored, about 1.8 billion Chinese travelers visited the United States, boosting the US economy by $21.1 billion and supporting over 109,000 jobs.
The White House also predicts around 7.3 million Chinese travelers will visit the United States by 2021 through the new visa facilitation scheme, which could result in $85 billion being injected into the US economy while supporting 440,000 jobs.