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18 dic 2023
Artificial Intelligence

Is AI Deciding on Your Visa Application?

The use of AI in government visa processing is increasing globally. We list how countries such as the United States, Canada, European nations, and others are utilizing AI to enhance efficiency and security in visa applications. However, the use of AI may raise questions about privacy, fairness, and transparency.

Is AI Deciding on Your Visa Application?

In past blogs we have discussed the impact of AI and GPT on visa applicants and immigration experts. What about the impact on the Government? Who, or what, is assessing your application?

Governments worldwide are increasingly turning to algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to assist in reviewing visa and immigration applications. This trend is not without its controversies, as it raises questions about privacy, fairness, and transparency.

How Different Countries are Using AI in Visa Processing

  1. United States: The U.S. Department of State has been clear that they are integrating machine learning, AI, and Natural Language Processing tools to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, and security in visa processing. This technology supports consular services in Asia Pacific countries, including Australia, Fiji, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. We wonder if it is only deployed overseas due to privacy laws.
  2. Canada: Canada has been experimenting with different technologies in its immigration, border control, and refugee systems. One tool in use since 2018 was rumored to use AI, however the government claims that it is simply an excel-based tool used to sort visitor record applications before human review. In 2020, Canada developed advanced analytics and machine learning to automate parts of the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) process, particularly for online applications from China and India. Whether these methods are equitable or fair remains unclear.
  3. European countries and the United Kingdom: Many European countries have been integrating AI into their immigration systems. For example, the UK Home Office has used AI algorithms since 2015 to filter applications by assessing the risk of fraud. However, racism biases have resulted in a pause of use.
  4. Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong, China: Immigration authorities in these countries are also streamlining processing systems using machine learning and other technologies. Japan's integration of robot-assisted technology, implemented in major international airports since 2021, aims to enhance the travel experience while ensuring rigorous border security.

These examples illustrate a growing trend among governments to leverage AI technologies to improve efficiency and decision-making in visa and immigration processes.

The increasing use of AI in visa processing signals a shift towards more efficient systems. However, several issues, including potential biases, ethical considerations, and transparency in decision-making, need to be addressed.

When will Big Brother be making the decision?

While the adoption of AI in government visa processing is on the rise, widespread and transparent use will likely take years to materialize. This evolving landscape suggests that immigration consultants should prepare by integrating AI tools in their visa preparation services to stay ahead of the curve. As AI continues to reshape various aspects of our lives, its application in immigration and visa processing is a critical area to watch, both for its potential benefits and the challenges it presents.

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Jie Chen
Co-founder & Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R#707585)Jie Chen
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