The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai ("AmCham") has announced that new AmCham Shanghai member companies that apply to join their Corporate Visa Program ("CVP") within one year of commencement of AmCham U.S. Corporate/U.S. Associated Corporate Membership will not be required to supply the company's annual report, financial statement or audit report again upon applying to CVP.
CVP is an initiative administered by AmCham in cooperation with the U.S. Consulate General Shanghai ("Consulate") to facilitate U.S. visas for select members of the AmCham Shanghai Resident Corporate Member Companies. The program is available to direct hire employees of CVP participating Corporate Member Companies seeking B-1/B-2, C-1, J-1, L-1, H-1B, H-3 and F visas. Dependents of J-1, L-1, H-1B and F applicants may also be eligible if they apply concurrently with the principal applicants.
CVP program benefits include:
- Expedited appointments for visa interviews
- Simplified application process coordinated through AmCham
- High success rate for visa applicants who qualify on their own merits
- Direct e-mail contact with a CVP liaison officer at the Consulate for any visa related questions
- AmCham information on avoiding common application issues
AmCham and the Consulate have a stringent selection process for participating company eligibility. To apply for CVP, companies must first obtain AmCham U.S. Corporate/U.S. Associated Corporate Membership. Member companies will be required to maintain a high level of involvement and accountability.
AmCham recommends that all participants submit visa applications at least one month prior to the employee's intended travel dates to ensure timely processing.
In a presentation given earlier this Fall to CVP members, the Consulate advised that its average volume is over 2,500 applicants per day, making Shanghai among the five largest nonimmigrant visa-issuing posts in the world. Given this high volume, companies operating in Shanghai and regularly sending employees to the United States will want to consider CVP membership to create a more manageable and fluid visa process for their business travelers. Employees applying to renew the same visa type and meeting other eligibility criteria may even qualify for the Frequent Traveler Program, under which an in-person consular interview will not be required.
If your organization has a significant presence in Shanghai and is interested in applying for CVP membership, Baker & McKenzie can provide guidance.
For more information, visit the AmCham CVP web site here.