In a move lauded by the U.S. Travel Association as making it easier for international travelers — including medical meeting attendees — to come to the United States, the House of Representatives in June passed H.R. 2410, the “Foreign Relations Authorization Act, FY 2010-2011.” The act includes a provision that authorizes the Secretary of State to conduct a two-year pilot program to use secure, remote video-conferencing technology to conduct tourist visa interviews. This would make the application process easier for potential attendees who live in geographically large countries, such as China, India, and Brazil, where they may have to travel hundreds of miles to apply in person for a visa at a U.S. Consulate.

The bill now has moved to the Senate for consideration.