On a positive note, the Department of State recently announced that H‑1B visas for Chinese nationals will now be issued for 12 months at a time, and will be valid for multiple entries. Before the change, H‑1B visas were issued for only three months, and were valid for only two entries to the United States, causing problems for a Chinese national who made frequent trips abroad. Now, a Chinese national can use his H‑1B visa for up to a year, and make an unlimited number of trips abroad without restricting his ability to return to the United States.
In addition, all Chinese national nonimmigrant visa applicants may now book interview appointments at any U.S. consular post in China, regardless of the province or city in which they live. Before the change, applicants were limited to those U.S. consular posts with jurisdiction over their places of residence. The change was made in the interest of “increasing mutual understanding between the United States and China through people-to-people exchange.” In 2009, almost half a million people received nonimmigrant visas in China, more than ever before. With the elimination of geographic restrictions on visa applications, the process should be simpler and more convenient.