As part of efforts to streamline the process of issuing visas to business travellers, the U.S. is taking a number of steps including through experiments like conducting visa interviews over Skype and eliminating paper applications.
“We have tried some experiments to look for ways to do interviews over Skype. It doesn’t meet our security needs,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday in her remarks at the President’s Export Council wherein leaders from the industry expressed their concern over delay and restrictions in issuing of visas.
“We train our consular officers to look at a visa applicant from a lot of different perspectives, and it’s unfortunate that that’s the world we find ourselves in. So, we’re trying to do everything possible to keep our consular offices open longer, to try to provide more support,” Ms. Clinton said.
“We are streamlining operations by eliminating paper applications, working to expedite visa appointments for business travellers,” she said.
Last year, the United States issued almost seven million visas to qualified applicants around the world, she said, adding that in the last two years the U.S. has certified nine additional countries for its Visa Waiver programme.
“When it comes to visa waivers, there are very strict standards that have to be met by the Department of Homeland Security." she said.
“China, India and Brazil do not meet them, and that’s where a huge increase in visa applications are coming from,” she added.