March 17, 2010

Travel Promotion Act Signed into Law

On March 4th, President Obama signed into law the Travel Promotion Act of 2009. The law will require a $10 fee to be levied on visitors to the United States from 35 European and Asian visa- waiver countries that do not pay $131 for a U.S. visa and are staying fewer than 90 days in the US. The fee will cover a traveler for two years and could produce as much as $100-200 million a year to help fund a corporation to promote the United States as a tourist destination. A further goal of the program is to educate travelers on U.S security procedures.

While this legislation will not affect any participants on J-1 Programs, it will affect those visiting them in the U.S. during their programs, including friends and family. It is expected that this fee will begin to be charged by the end of the year.

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