Modernizing the visa-granting process

Friday, May 25 2012


The process of granting visas for refugees, immigrants and tourists can be a complicated one. The distance between the parties involved and strict custom laws make an in-person meeting difficult, but the importance of visual communication - especially in light of the frequent language divide - make it even harder. In light of these obstacles, governments across the world are increasingly turning to video conferencing as a solution.

The U.S. Heritage Foundation, for example, is considering the use of online conferencing to help reduce the expenses and hardships for potential citizens and tourists to be considered for a visa.

"The use of secure video conferencing would not only allow individuals who live far from a U.S. consulate to meet the visa interview requirement with greater ease," Jessica Zuckerman a research associate for Homeland Security said at a testimony before the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy. The technology would also help the United States increase the volume of interviews it could conduct without needing to add personnel at any one consulate, according to Zuckerman.

Both local and state governments are finding the new technology useful in cutting costs and increasing security in the convoluted task of granting visas to foreigners.