ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Immigration and Naturalization Service has suspended a rule requiring Chinese airline passengers to have visas if they stop in Anchorage on flights between Canada and China.
The rule could have cost Anchorage millions of dollars in airport revenue and jobs, according to the governor's office.
Chinese nationals residing in Canada had been exempt from a federal policy requiring Chinese to have visas to pass through the United States on international flights. A policy change early this year ended that exemption.
Cathay Pacific and Korean Airlines told the state that the new rule affected 30 percent of their passengers and the potential loss of business could mean they'd leave the state.
Gov. Tony Knowles wrote INS Commissioner Kevin Rooney asking that Anchorage be exempted from the new visa requirements. An initial 30-day stay on fines issued by Alaska INS director Robert Eddy ended Wednesday, but Eddy said the rule is now suspended until further notice.
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