US processes 1 million Chinese visas so far in 2012

U.S. consular offices in China have processed 1 million visa applications so far this year, the State Department announced, a 43 percent increase over the same time period last year.

The news comes as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) this week lifted his hold on legislation that would eliminate per-country caps on immigrant visas, which is expected to further boost the number of visitors from China and India. The bill is now expected to pass in the Senate after clearing the House over opposition from some smaller countries that their citizens will lose out because the two Asian giants will scoop up an ever-growing percentage of the total number of visas issued.

“The accomplishments announced today reflect the Obama Administration’s commitment towards increasing U.S. jobs by encouraging more people to visit our country,” the State Department said in a statement.