Well I’ll be…the U.S. and China are already handing out the new 10-year tourist visas. We’ll see if this continues in the future or if they’re only handed out under special circumstances.

The new visa agreement between the U.S. and China was one of two major agreements for President Obama to bring home after the recently-completed APEC meetings in Beijing. One of the communities impacted by this new policy is none other than Chinese students who plan to or are already studying in the U.S. Now they’re eligible for a student visa that’s 5 years or the length of the U.S. program.

One Chinese student at The University of Virginia “said the new policy will allow students to visit their home country during school and work holidays more conveniently, and it gives them a better chance to explore opportunities in the United States”

Visas are now less of a barrier to studying abroad in the U.S., so you could see an increase in Chinese applicants if you’re in admissions. Have you prepared for increased numbers? Planning to start any time soon?

U.S.-China Immigration Attorney, Gary Chodorow, notes:

Visitors and students to the U.S. in high-tech and scientific fields may be subject to ‘administrative processing,’ otherwise known as “security advisory opinions.” This refers to background checks after their interviews to determine if they are likely to try to illegally access sensitive U.S. technologies. If they pass their check, the State Department may limit their visa validity to keep closer tabs on them. What period of validity is likely?

For those of you in international admissions:

•More of your Chinese students could go on to work in the U.S. after graduation. Does this change your China admissions communication strategy and the way you present your institution to applicants?

•How will your campus be affected by Chinese students who are now more free to bounce back and forth between the countries instead of staying on campus or at least in the U.S.?

•Have a dedicated page on your institution’s website for Chinese applicants? Don’t forget to update it with the latest visa information.

How do you think this new agreement will affect China admissions? Has your work already changed in any way?  Let me and other readers know in the comment section below!