Project Code: STATE-CHN-56

Shanghai - Social Media Analyst for U.S. Visa Fraud and Facilitation Issues

Project Title Shanghai - Social Media Analyst for U.S. Visa Fraud and Facilitation Issues
Project Summary Dive into the murky virtual world of visa touts, shady backdoor work advertisements, and visa facilitators to deepen understanding of Chinese language news and social media discussions of less-than-legal means of obtaining or maintaining U.S. visa status.
Country China
Agency Department of State
DoS Office N/A
Section CONS
Number of Interns 3
Project Description

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China receive millions of applications from Chinese citizens interested in traveling to the United States each year. Most visa applicants use clear, legal paths to obtain their visas. Others rely on visa fixers or submit fraudulent information. Chinese citizens have a vibrant online presence where netizens discuss a wide range of experiences, including their visa application process, options for obtaining or maintaining U.S. visa status, and how to disguise their true purpose of travel. The U.S. Consulate Shanghai is seeking interested, capable applicants with Chinese reading ability to review public blogs and postings to see what our applicants are saying about the methods they have used or are promoting for others interested in traveling to the United States. Research will be done online in any publicly available media. Minimum professional proficiency in reading simplified Chinese characters is necessary, but translation aids are permissable.

Required Skills or Interests
Analytical writing
Social media management
Additional Information

You will be working as part of a group conducting individualized research in this field. Depending on the number of successful applicants accepted onto the project, you may be asked to focus on a particular visa category or sub-topic. Those accepted onto the project will be given some background information to help them get started on their research, but must be self-motivated and self-directed in their work. The final work product is a report and supporting annex describing your findings. Among the materials provided will be instructions on how to format a formal, front channel cable in the Department of State—an essential skill for many U.S. diplomats. Although the cable will not be disseminated through formal channels, this is a terrific opportunity to gain experience in the formal writing style used within the Department.