A strange sort of welcome

THE rise of big emerging economies like China and India, and the steady march of globalisation, have led to a surge in the numbers of people wanting to travel abroad for business or tourism. As a result, demand for visas is at unprecedented levels. In the fiscal year to the end of September 2014 the United States granted just under 10m visas—up from around 6m in 1997, despite blips in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 and the global financial crisis of 2007-08 (see chart 1).

Citizens of America, Britain and some other rich countries can travel to most places without a visa. Chinese and Indian travellers are far more likely to have to apply for them. And citizens of a few benighted places, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, have to submit to the cost and bureaucracy—and often the humiliation—of the visa-application process to get to most places (see chart 2).

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via Business Feeds

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