The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv

New campaign seeks to teach Israelis to apply for U.S. visa

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked says aiming to more than halve visa rejection rate by 2023 to secure a spot on the Visa Waiver Program as large portion of applications are rejected due to technicalities

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 01.19.22, 13:26
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.
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  • 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.
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    The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv
    The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv
    The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: AFP)
    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    The U.S. says that a relatively large number of visa applications are rejected due to technicalities, such as an out-of-date passport picture or a damaged passport.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.
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    איילת שקד בכנס השלטון המקומי
    איילת שקד בכנס השלטון המקומי
    Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    "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.
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