Visitor Visa Wait Time Reduction Act Reintroduced in House

Visitor Visa Wait Time Reduction Act Reintroduced in House

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
August 4, 2023

Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) reintroduced the Visitor Visa Wait Time Reduction Act. The bill would reduce the years-long wait times for nonimmigrant visitor visa appointments in the U.S. State Department. Cosponsors of the bill also comprise of a bipartisan group of lawmakers, which includes Florida Reps. Daniel Webster (R), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D).

Rep. Salazar was joined by Nevada Rep. Susie Lee (D) in the bipartisan effort to address the issue. Currently, the country has experienced historic backlogs for tourist visas. The estimated time that prospective tourists to the United States have to wait is two and a half years to receive an appointment to see if they are eligible for a tourist visa.

Lawmakers argue that this extended wait time hurts the economy while also keeping families from seeing their loved ones.

In order to solve this concern, the legislation would require that the State Department outline specific steps to ensure the issue is addressed at each diplomatic post where the wait time for a visitor visa appointment surpasses 100 days.

For wait times to be reduced, the bill would temporarily reassign staff from other State Department offices to diplomatic posts where the wait times for nonimmigrant visa appointments surpass 300 days.

Salazar released a statement, stating that many of her constituents “have families who live across the Americas who have to wait egregiously long amounts of time to see their loved ones in the U.S.” “The bureaucratic breakdown of consular services at the State Department needs to be fixed immediately. No more excuses – get to work to bring these wait times down!” she called.

Wait times in Latin American countries are long. Bogota, Colombia and Mexico City, Mexico are both estimated to have a wait time that surpasses two years.

The legislation has received support from the U.S. Travel Association.

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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