Pro-travel legislation draws more than 100 co-sponsors in U.S. House

The Jobs Originated through Launching Travel, or JOLT, Act has surpassed 100 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, drawing almost equal support from the two major political parties.

Key provisions of the JOLT Act would expand the Visa Waiver Program that enables international travelers from approved countries to enter the U.S. without a visa; expand the Global Entry program that expedites entry for preapproved, low-risk international travelers; mandate expedited visa processing and reduced visa wait times for travelers who wish to visit the U.S.; and facilitate the use of secure videoconferencing to conduct visa interviews by authorizing a pilot program to test feasibility.

The legislation was introduced by Reps. Joe Heck, R-Nev., and Mike Quigley, D-Ill., and is supported by the U.S. Travel Association.

In 2012, international visitors added almost $130 billion to the U.S. economy and generated more than $19 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue. If extended to Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Israel, Panama, Poland, Romania and Uruguay, the visa program could increase international visitation by more than 600,000, add more than $7 billion to the U.S. economy and support more than 40,000 additional American jobs, according to U.S. Travel.