Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption VisitBritain aims to put a price tag on tourism to the UK
The US government is giving visas to more Britons than the UK itself has, with just 57,000 applied for by UK citizens out of the 12 million total.
It is the first time that the number of Britons eligible for visas has exceeded 100,000, the US government said.
These increased priority “visa-exempt categories” are for people on short-term visits and those studying in the US.
A Britain-US visa processing centre was also set up in Washington DC.
It represents a major shift in the number of British visitors who have been allowed into the US.
It means that roughly half of those who applied for visas were already in the US.
People are able to apply for Visa-exempt categories by filling out an online form at www.usa.gov/visafund.
Britons over the age of 25, including students, permanent residents and men aged 55 and over were able to apply for the visa-exempt categories earlier in the year.
The decisions on how many Britons are able to get a visa to come to the US comes as the United Kingdom’s promise to bring visitors with a “bespoke” tariff and fees will come into effect.
The government will announce these fees at a later date.
Adrian Lowery, of VisitBritain, said Britain was “one of the most popular destinations for Americans and we’re proud that after decades of supporting UK exports and business investment through the EU, the US administration has recognised this”
But he added: “We also welcome the additional work the US government are doing around visa-exempt categories to support Britain’s big exports and business investment potential.
“This opens the door to opportunities for UK-based businesses and vice versa.”