According to this CNN story, videoconferencing is now being used to hasten the visa application interview process, which can be a huge hassle for business travelers (and meeting attendees from other countries trying to get to your meeting). From the article:
- In a recent speech, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said her country may adopt video conferencing methods to interview visa applicants, to save them going through the rigmarole of waiting in line at embassies and consulates.
She said the move would come as part of a package of measures to ensure that visitors would not be discouraged from traveling to the United States, despite the unprecedented levels of security.
I'm wondering how it would work in some of the more problematic areas, where access to videoconferencing equipment might be as difficult as traveling to an embassy, which I think is a larger sticking point for many who'd have to fly to get to one. Still, it's a step in the right direction, hopefully.
(Thanks to Stephanie at the Conferblog for the pointer.)