Religion Magazine

Helping Israelis Get in to the USA

By Gldmeier @gldmeier

I know the issue is far more complicated than my initial take, but my initial take is still what it is.
A few days ago the news reported the Minister of Interior Ayelet Shaked announced that the Ministry of Interior will publish guides for Israelis applying for visas to visit the United States. Many applications get rejected due to being filled out incorrectly or not clearly, leaving the Americans to believe that the applicant might be looking for a way in so they can then overstay the visa, so they reject it outright. Shaked will offer this guidance so more Israelis can get their visa applications approved.
This comes in light of efforts being made n the diplomatic front to get Israel on the no-visa list for America. That would let Israelis visit the USA with no need for applying for a visa. The USA has refused it for a long time, due to many who overstay their welcome, among other reasons, but now it looks like that day might be getting closer.
My initial thought when I read about this guidance to be offered, besides being silly (ie if an Israeli wants to travel to a foreign country the least he or she should be able to do is fill out a form) was that it seems weird to me that the State of Israel will put forth effort to help its citizens get into another country. Anyone wanting to travel should be on their own. Why should the State of Israel take it upon themselves to help people travel? They dont have to make it harder, but why make it easier? Let them figure it out on their own!
It is far more complex than that though. Israel wants its citizens to be happy, and part of that, for some people at least, is easing travel for them. Pretty much anybody who wants to get in and stay probably already can, so the government helping them increase their chances for an approved visa is not likely to raise those numbers in any significant way. 
Also, having properly filled out forms probably will increase the number/percentage of approved requests. If the US government sees the citizens of Israel want to come visit without suspecting Israelis are trying to sneak in en masse and stay, the efforts toward the no-visa list will probably also be more successful.
And it is also probably a good thing to help the citizens look like good regular people who know how to fill out a form and not look like bumbling idiots.
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