On October 2, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Napolitano announced the designation of Taiwan into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Eligible Taiwan passport holders can travel on the VWP beginning November 1, 2012. See DHS’s press release announcing the designation, and learn more about visa-free travel on the Visa Waiver Program.
The registration period for the United States Diversity Visa (DV-2014) Program begins Tuesday, October 2, 2012, at noon (EDT) (GMT-4), and concludes on Saturday, November 3, 2012, at noon (EDT) (GMT-4). For more information, review the Press Release and the DV-2014 Instructions. Entrants for DV-2014 are advised to submit their entries early in the registration period because excessive demand might slow down the system as the deadline nears. There is no charge for submitting an entry in the DV Program. The Department of State strongly encourages entrants to complete and submit their own entries. There is no need to use an agent or intermediary.
The U.S. Department of State continues to streamline the visa process to encourage international visitors, build cultural ties, and strengthen our economy. See our video, "Visit America: It's Easier Than You Think."
On March 29, 2012, the Department of State published an interim final rule in the Federal Register to adjust visa processing fees. The fees for most nonimmigrant visa applications and Border Crossing Cards will increase, while all immigrant visa processing fees will decrease. The new fees are scheduled to go into effect on April 13, 2012. For more information, review the Press Release and Fees for Visa Services.
On March 30, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register about new procedures under consideration for some I-601 waiver applications.
Once implemented, these changes would allow certain immediate relative immigrant visa applicants (the spouse, children, or
parents of a U.S. citizen) who can demonstrate extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent to receive a provisional
waiver of unlawful presence bars before leaving the United States. These new procedures will not apply to family-sponsored
preference visa categories.
These new procedures are not in effect and will not be available to potential applicants until USCIS publishes a final rule in the Federal Register specifying the effective date. USCIS will not accept applications for provisional waivers before the effective date (not yet determined). Immigrant visa applicants are encouraged not to cancel or fail to appear for a scheduled visa interview. Please read the USCIS advisory in English and Spanish.
On January 20th, 2012 the White House unveiled new initiatives to promote the United States as a premier destination for international travelers by making our processes for moving people and goods more secure and more efficient. In a manner consistent with our high responsibility to protect America’s borders, the Department of State has taken steps to improve the visa process for all legitimate travelers who wish to visit our great nation. The Department of State has devoted significant resources to increase efficiency and capacity in the visa process, deploying additional personnel, expanding visa sections, and utilizing new systems and technologies to facilitate legitimate travel without compromising national security. These advances allowed the Department of State to issue more than 7.5 million visas in the last fiscal year, a 17% year-on-year increase. For more information, visit the Capitalizing on Visa Demand to Spur U.S. Economic Growth webpage