As part of his efforts toward immigration reform, President Barack Obama called for federal agencies to begin to make the process of applying for a visa more modern and digitized. Currently, applying for a green card, visa or other necessary immigration document involves many steps and a lot of paper. A task force convened on this issue recently released its report, “Modernizing and Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century,” and has quite a few recommendations for how the process could change.
The group followed applicants looking to get their visas for several months, according to WIRED. An official who spoke with the source said the legwork involved was daunting. “As a group of technologists, that stuff just killed us. It’s insane we would do that in 2015. We invented these things called computers,” the official said.
In place of the paperwork-heavy system now operating, the group recommended a few key changes. First among them was allowing applicants to pay all fees at once rather than having them pay out small amounts over time. Another key change would involve tailoring the application experience to the user – the needs of a permanent resident seeking citizenship are different than those of a student from abroad looking to come to the U.S. to complete his or her studies, and any digital system should reflect that.