Videoconferencing to Be Used for US Visa Interviews
TMCnet Contributing Writer
With travel being the number one services export of the United States, anything that can be done to make it easier has the potential to bring vast amounts of money into the economy. One innovative solution that is taking form is the idea of using videoconferencing to conduct visa interviews so that people in foreign countries who live far away from any U.S. consulates can still have the opportunity to travel to America.
A bill proposing just this recently passed the House of Representatives and is being praised by the U.S. Travel Association. According to the bill, a pilot program must be created to test the viability of using videoconferencing to conduct secure visa interviews. An article from Migration Expert states that the videoconferencing technology could also be used to enable secure sharing of documents and fingerprint data.
This bill has the potential to not only allow new people the chance at visas, but it also has the potential to cut the costs associated with issuing these visas. If the program is successful, it would mean that fewer physical offices would be necessary in foreign countries, which could mean huge savings for the U.S.
This program isn’t the only way that the government has implemented videoconferencing in order to incur savings lately. Another bill involving videoconferencing has been proposed in the House of Representatives, this time aimed at cutting travel costs for federal legislators. The bill, sponsored by Representative Michael Fitzpatrick, aims to cut the travel costs of federal employees in half by 2017. Much of these savings would come from utilizing videoconferencing in order to meet with colleagues across the country or even across the world instead of physically travelling there.
Edited by Alisen Downey