6 Dec 2011

Visa reform seeks to ease travel to CNMI

11:48 am on 6 December 2011

The Northern Mariana Islands' delegate to the United States congress has joined 34 other House of Representatives members in seeking tourist visa reform to ease travel to the US.

Gregorio Kilili Sablan has signed off a bipartisan letter encouraging the House and Senate Appropriators on State and Foreign Operations to include provisions to implement two pilot programs to improve visa service for travelers to the US.

The first programme requires the Secretary of State to hire additional consular officers in the People's Republic of China, Brazil, and India to meet its standard of reviewing tourist visa applicants within 30 days.

The second program allows the State Secretary to develop a pilot program, using secure remote video-conferencing technology, to process B-1 and B-2 visas.

Mr Sablan says these programs will help increase access to Chinese visitors, which is critical to economic recovery.