19 Jan 2012
President Obama announced on January 19, 2012, that the Departments of State and Homeland Security are currently collaborating to improve and accelerate the visa process for certain types of travelers. Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has added a number of detailed screening measures and checks that apply to every visa applicant. A new initiative will allow qualified foreign national visitors who have previously been interviewed and “thoroughly screened” in relation to a prior visa application to renew their visas without having to take part in another screening interview.
By eliminating this additional interview, the Departments of State and Homeland Security will save time and money for the applicant, as well as help support the foreign national’s choice of the U.S. as their next tourism destination. In addition, it will free up the Departments’ resources to interview more first-time visitors. This pilot program will apply to certain low-risk applicants, such as those renewing expired visas. High-risk applicants will still be required to take part in a screening interview.