The Interior Ministry is working on a media campaign that would teach Israelis how to properly fill out an application for a U.S. visa as the Jewish nation tries to secure a spot on the Visa Waiver Program.
According to the ministry, 150,000 Israelis apply for U.S. visas on average each year, but 6-7% of them end up being rejected, mostly due to administrative-technical reasons.
The campaign — led by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — aims to more than halve the rejection rate to meet the U.S.'s 3% threshold by 2023.
The U.S. says that a relatively large number of visa applications are rejected due to technicalities, such as an out-of-date passport picture or a damaged passport.
Other frequent issues include submitting visa applications for children under 14 without the pertinent parental documents, as well as failing to submit a fingerprint or show up to a personal interview with the consul.
“After years of dragging its feet, the Israeli government has decided to take the issue seriously,” said Shaked.
"When we realized that most visas were rejected due to technicalities… We decided, in consultation with the U.S. Embassy, to launch a campaign to educate the public on how to properly fill out the forms.
Campaign czar Gil Bringer said he was optimistic about reaching the minister's 3% goal within the set time frame.