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TIA cheers withdrawal of restrictive visa rule

The proposed INS visa rule that would have eliminated the minimum admission period for millions of international visitors to…

The proposed INS visa rule that would have eliminated the minimum admission period for millions of international visitors to the U.S. was formally withdrawn by the U.S. Department of Justice on March 3rd. The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) aggressively led the lobbying effort on behalf of the industry over the past 10 months to have the rule withdrawn or modified, and was joined in this effort by other travel and business associations.



Without the certainty of a fixed admission period, international visitors would have risked thousands of dollars on trips of unknown duration. They would have voted with their feet and their wallets and traveled to destinations where they could be certain of completing their trip, said TIA President and CEO William S. Norman. The withdrawal of this rule demonstrates a much welcomed recognition by the Administration that international travel and tourism to the U.S. is a vital part of our nation`s economy.



The new visa rule proposed eliminating the minimum admission period for international travelers visiting with a B-2 pleasure visa from six months to a shorter and poorly defined reasonable period tailored for each individual visitor. The period of time granted to the visitor would be up to the individual immigration inspector and would be determined when the visitor arrived in the U.S.



Even in its draft form, the proposed visa rule caused confusion for international travelers wanting to visit the U.S. Overseas tour operators expressed reservations about sending their clients to the U.S. should this rule go into effect.



Norman also remarked that, We are grateful to House Small Business Committee Chairman Don Manzullo for holding a hearing on this issue last June, and highlighting the damage this rule would have caused to the U.S. travel industry.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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