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Automated Screening Could Reduce Visa Delays

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on February 08, 2012

According to a policy memorandum recently published by the Council on Foreign Relations (the “CFR) pilot projects involving automated screening have resulted in faster processing times, fewer false positive threat warnings, and just as many accurate threat identifications as were captured under existing procedures, along with some identifications that were previously missed.

Currently, visa delays of months or even years are not uncommon when consular officers must vet applicants with face-to-face interviews and manual background checks. Additional security vetting measures are often layered on to the process, including but not limited to: biometric identifications; checks against terrorist watch lists; and so-called Security Advisory Opinion background checks.

That is why the CFR is calling for faster approval and implementation of an automated process that holds the promise for rapid and accurate identification of threats. The CFR asserts that the U.S. needs an automated system that is faster, more efficient and more accurate so that scarce resources can be dedicated to scrutinizing higher-risk goods or people that are entering the country while allowing rapid passage for those that are not only safe, but beneficial to our commerce.

The CFR adds that “both the administration and Congress need to recognize that, with current capabilities, visa delays now produce significant economic costs for no security benefits.”

This blog will continue to monitor and publish news about developments in screening and processing. In the meantime, if you are in need of legal assistance in connection with immigration issues affecting you or your family, do not hesitate to contact this office at (847) 564-0712 for an appointment. You might also want to visit the pertinent section of our Website for additional information about our services.