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According to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), 28.7 million persons entered the United States as either B-1 business or B-2 tourist visitors during the 1999-2000 fiscal year. [1]This figure does not include the 16.5 million visitors who entered pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program. INS’ recently proposed rules governing the admission of visitors could reduce these figures in the future. On April 12, 2002, the INS published an interim rule and a proposed rule that would significantly change the current regulations governing the B nonimmigrant status. The B visa, one of the most widely issued temporary visas, affords many visitors their initial entry into the United States. American consular officers grant B visas (B-1 visitor for business and B-2 visitor for pleasure) in furtherance of the United States policy to facilitate and promote international travel and the free movement of people of all nationalities to the United States. [2]The increased scrutiny and limitations on B visa issuance expected to take effect with the finalization of the proposed rule stand to diminish this policy.

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