China and Mexico are the only two U.S. Missions that process more than one million visa applications each year, according to a State Department’s press release. Mexico has shown a 36 percent increase in visa applications in the last year while Brazil is trailing behind China and Mexico on third place.
The State Department has announced that it has already processed more than 1 million visas in China this year, a 43 percent increase over the first six months of fiscal 2011 when 675,000 visa applications were processed.
Since 2004, according to the Commerce Department, the number of visitors from China has increased 438 percent.
The White House said the increasing number of tourists is due in part to the Travel Promotion Act, which passed in 2010. It established a tourism marketing and promotional fund, financed through a $10 fee on each new visa, according to the New York Times.
The main purpose of Chinese visits to the United States in 2001, according to the Commerce Department, were for business (30 percent of the total), vacation (27 percent), visiting relatives (24 percent) and study (3 percent).