Summit County, Breckenridge ski tourism might benefit from smarter visa laws

For international tourists, a weeklong ski vacation to Breckenridge begins months or even years before they set skis to snow.

Take a family from Brazil: Before booking a room on Ski Hill Road, everyone in the family must first be approved for a nonimmigrant visa, commonly known as a tourist visa. Since Brazil isn’t one of the 38 countries currently on theVisa Waiver Program, the federal program that lets qualified travelers visit the U.S. for 90 days without a visa, the family must meet a laundry list of requirements.

There’s an online application, mandatory fingerprinting and an in-person interview at the nearest U.S. consulate — sometimes found hundreds of miles away in a capital city — not to mention the $160 per person fee.

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About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…