WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government plans to shorten the length of visas issued to some Chinese citizens starting on June 11, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday, citing the State Department.
Under the new policy, U.S. consular officers may limit the time visas are valid, rather than the usual practise of issuing them for the maximum possible period, AP reported.
The State Department did not immediately provide comment on the report.
The change would come as the administration of President Donald Trump attempts to crack down on what it says is theft of U.S. intellectual property by China.
A U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that under directions sent to U.S. embassies and consulates, Chinese graduate students would be limited to one-year visas if they are studying in certain fields, such as robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing, AP reported.
Those are areas Beijing has said are high-priority goals for its manufacturing sector.
The official said the instructions also stated that Chinese citizens seeking visas would need special clearance from multiple U.S. agencies if they work as researchers or managers for companies on a U.S. Commerce Department list of entities needing higher scrutiny. Those clearances are expected to take months for each application, AP cited the official as saying.
Earlier on Tuesday, Washington said it was still considering slapping 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion (£37.7 billion) of Chinese goods in retaliation for what the Trump administration says are China’s unfair trade practices.
(Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Peter Cooney)