The Perils and Potential of Visa Diplomacy: An Immigration Practitioner’s Perspective

The literature on the relationship between public diplomacy and visas is as polarized as the effects that a nation’s visa policy can have on its image. Visa liberalization policies, such as the broadening of visa waiver programs, can often enhance a nation’s public diplomacy strategy. But this same strategy can be severely undermined by the security-driven imposition of visa red tape. In both cases, the literature closely mimics views expressed in online visa forums and in embassies’ visa section waiting rooms the world over: that entry to another country is regarded by travelers as a basic human right, and visa red tape a violation of that right.

Rubbing up against this, of course, is the sovereign right exercised by states to protect their territorial integrity by regulating their borders. Visa regimes – and their practitioners – are caught between the seemingly dichotomous objectives of facilitating bona fide travelers and migrants on the one hand and preventing nonbona fide movements of people on the other… read on at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy’s CPD Blog

USA Embassy

[Seal of an Embassy of the United States of America – a familiar image for those in waiting in long US visa queues]

 

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4 thoughts on “The Perils and Potential of Visa Diplomacy: An Immigration Practitioner’s Perspective

      1. nxdynon

        Thank you for the link. I enjoyed the article, and it makes a number of valid points: that immigration can and does have positive implications for the economy of the destination nation, that migrants often take on jobs that non-migrants don’t, and that many ‘illegal immigrants’ actually arrive legally and then either breach their visa conditions or fail to depart within the validity of their visa.

        While these are all worthy points, the devil – as is usually the case – is often in the detail. For example, which specific policies of visa liberalization will bring about the best results… while also avoiding the possibility of unintended negative consequences of such policies? The idea of handing residence or citizenship status to any foreign worker who can find a job in the US is one that would seem particularly vulnerable to potential abuse, with the potential to lead to massive social issues and other pressures.

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