Artificial Intelligence or AI has been used in a test pilot mode since 2018 in order to automate decision-making on some categories of visa applications. An international report suggests that starting in April 2020 AI robots will be used much more prevalently in making immigration decisions than they have been in the past. There has been significant public anxiety over fairness and privacy associated with Big Data.
In the age of computers and digital identities, it seems more and more jobs can be done by robots. But can robots be as effective as human decision makers? For example, in our recent experience, there has been a rise in phone communications to confirm employment details and/or verify documents throughout different overseas visa offices. For instance, if you are submitting a visitor visa application and one of the documents that forms part of the visitor visa application is the principal applicant's employment letter, then it is possible that the business will be getting a call to confirm whether the individual is still employed, if they have been employed and for how long and when they are expected to return to work. If a robot, on the other hand, is making a decision based strictly on the documents submitted which may or may not be authentic and accurate, would some people slip through the cracks that shouldn't be?
Nevertheless, we can expect some of the delays in decisions to possibly be cleared up by reducing inefficiency. We should see visa processing times become shorter and shorter. More consistency and predictability will probably become apparent in due time. “A system that approves applications without sufficient vetting would raise risks to Canadians, and it is understandable for Canadians to be more concerned about mistakenly approving risky individuals than about mistakenly refusing bona fide candidates,” says a 2019 Immigration Department report.
It is worthwhile to study the requirements for each visa category carefully but also to leverage experience. Only through experience can we surmise, for instance, how much money is considered enough to get an approved visitor visa? How much money is sufficient to cover educational costs and living expenses on a student visa? Why having travel history is beneficial when it comes to visitor applications etc...