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Visa Wait Times: The Latest Update

In advance of the May 30 Legislative Action Day in Washington, organized by Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance, learn more about a huge hurdle for U.S. events looking to drive international attendance.

The Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance—a coalition of professional, industry, and labor organizations—will bring its advocacy efforts for the business-events industry to Washington, D.C., on May 30.

ECA’s Legislative Action Day gives industry leaders a chance to meet with policymakers on Capitol Hill about the issues that matter to them—especially six major concerns outlined on ECA’s policy agenda released in January. These include shortening visa wait times, bringing back communicable-disease coverage to event-cancellation insurance, and supporting policies to help build the industry’s next-generation workforce.

The event is sold out, with more than 130 attendees expected (join the wait list here). But you can get updated on the visa issue in a recent article by ECA Vice President Tommy Goodwin, What’s the Latest on Visa Wait Times? which ran in Trade Show News Network, MeetingsNet’s sister media brand at Informa Connect.

Goodwin doesn’t sugarcoat it. A first-time visitor to the U.S. from Mexico still has an 878-day wait for an interview with a consular officer, he writes. But the article also highlights the progress that’s been made and the current bills working their way through Congress that could drive further improvements.

ECA, formed in 2021, now has ten partner organizations, with the May 16 announcement that the International Congress and Convention Association is now part of the alliance. It joins the Professional Convention Management Association, International Association of Exhibitions & Events, Experiential Designers & Producers Association, Exhibition Services & Contractors Association, Society of Independent Show Organizers, International Association of Venue Managers, Trade Show Labor Alliance, and UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

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