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Visas and Foreign Direct Investment; Supporting U.S. Competitiveness by Facilitating International Travel
 
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In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the United States adopted a variety of new statutory and regulatory requirements for foreign nationals seeking visas for entry into the United States. As a result, the number of non-immigrant visas issued—particularly the types of visas most used for business travel into the United States—dropped significantly. The timely availability of business visas is a critical business issue, since foreign investors often view the ease with which they can travel as a key indicator of how easy it will be to make or administer an investment. This paper looks at the different kinds of non-immigrant visas that are issued by the United States, examines steps that the State Department has taken with the creation of its Business Visa Center, and makes recommendations about where additional attention is needed in order to facilitate business travel to (and resultant investment in) the United States.

(November 2007; 16 pages)

 
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