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Reimagining the Future of Travel: apply and fly in 24 hours

Imagine a future where you can apply for a visa…and travel to your destination within 24 hours

Deloitte is committed to transforming this vision into reality through our Future of Travel offering. Leveraging our extensive experience with cutting-edge technology and innovative processing solutions, the aim is to expedite, streamline, and secure the end-to-end travel journey.

The challenge

Across the travel ecosystem, several barriers may stand in the way of realizing this 24-hour “apply and fly” vision. Despite technology advancements, government agencies responsible for processing visa applications face growing backlogs. Both travelers and immigrants can wait weeks, months, and sometimes even years for processing of documentation such as employment authorizations, travel credentials, or replacement passports.

In the United States, our travel ecosystem agencies, including the Department of State, US Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration and US Citizenship and Immigration Services, are critical to protecting national security, vetting travelers entering the country, and ensuring the US has access to the workforce it needs to continue generating economic growth. Adjudicating complex matters, such as citizenship naturalization or traveler entry, can’t be rushed and must follow myriad and well-established laws, rules, and systems. As technology advances, travelers’ expectations (especially for our “digital native” generations) are shifting, which can create challenges between users’ experience and the processes established to allow people to travel and immigrate.

The solution: reimagine the Future of Travel

To overcome these challenges, government agencies can collaborate with the private sector in new ways that champion a seamless, end-to-end traveler experience. These collaborations can help agencies identify and implement emerging technologies and modern tools that can expedite processing, identify high-risk cases, and enable the rapid approval of low-risk travel. Private sector partners can also share perspectives and lessons learned from across the travel ecosystem, promoting a more holistic, user-centered approach that benefits travelers, immigration officers and workers alike.

What could the building blocks of reimagined travel look like? Here are four considerations:

The convenience of smart phones is making it easier and more common to capture biometric data via facial recognition or fingerprints to streamline check-in and accelerate ID verification. Remote biometrics collection and virtual ID verification, a precursor for digital ID, can enable the use of digital green cards and travel documents which can offer significant enhancements for applicant security and vetting processes, while reducing processing times upon arrival at ports of entry.

Sorting millions of applications to ensure each goes through a risk-review adjudication process can be done through secure AI-driven workflows, with data interoperability at their core. The deployment of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) capabilities can enable government agencies to pull together disparate data from hundreds of national and international sources. Immigration officers and adjudicators can then make queries that are straight forward and actionable, enhancing their decision-making and improving users’ experience.

The proliferation of trusted traveler programs indicates that many travelers are willing to provide their personal information in exchange for added travel convenience and efficiency. Trusted traveler programs can be scaled to allow for more participation and integrated with airline travel apps to increase the seamless exchange of data via opt-in programs. The convenience, predictability, accountability, and efficiency could help reduce agencies’ processing tasks and improve travelers’ experiences, while increasing security and trust in government processes.

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic not only demonstrated that many government services can be provided digitally, but that digital access to government services is an important aspect of positive user experiences.  A ”digital first” mentality, with a single “one-stop-shop” portal, could improve users’ satisfaction, while helping to improve processing efficiency. As laws and regulations increasingly allow visa or immigration processing to be done virtually, a single portal could guide appropriate travel, visa, or immigration pathways via GenAI guidance, video interviews, payment, application support, and status updates on mobile and desktop devices.

Deloitte’s Future of Travel

Deloitte’s Future of Travel offering can help to create a more connected, accessible, and secure world where governments, businesses, workers and travelers can confidently navigate a modern and seamless travel ecosystem.

With customizable, automation-rich technology products, unmatched strategic experience, proven processes, and a strong global footprint, Deloitte provides a truly transformative end-to-end solution. Together, we can propel travel operations forward and reach an enhanced state of efficiency.

To learn more about our approach to making travel more seamless and secure, please visit

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