Get Visa is a mobile game that aims to teach people about the complicated, crazy, and cumbersome U.S. immigration process. It is the latest example of the gamification of a real-life process — in this case applying for a visa to the U.S. — with game mechanics that can be both educational and entertaining.
Piyush Mishra, co-creator of the free-to-play game, believes that the title will help reduce the denial rate for American visas by educating people about the right steps and processes involved in getting different kinds of visas for the country. He has started a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise $10,000 to fund the project. So far, the campaign has raised $6,893 from 37 backers, and it has 10 days to go.
Get Visa’s creators want to draw attention to the plight of people who are stuck in the immigration bureaucracy, even though they might be technological wizards who could help the U.S. economy. Get Visa simplifies the application process by “gamifying” it, or using game mechanics in a non-game application in order to make it more entertaining and easier to understand.
“With this game, you can get a real-life experience of the U.S. immigration process,” Mishra said in the Kickstarter post. “Having experienced first-hand the dysfunction of U.S. immigration system, we wanted to create a guidebook that will help new immigrants like us to better understand it. This mission led us to create this gaming app.”
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The game tries to explain the application process in a fun and informative way. You will choose the continent from which you plan to apply, and then you’ll have various visa options. You can choose one option and start looking for the documents needed for that visa type.
Mishra notes that 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants or the children of immigrants. But 51 percent of H-1B visa applications — those used by tech workers — were rejected in 2014 and another quarter are expected to be denied due to missing documents or improper filings. On average, it takes about seven years to get legal permanent residency.
The game will be built using the Unity Technologies game engine for both iOS and Android. Mishra and his partner Ravi Kumar are based in San Francisco. The game is about 60 percent done, Mishra said. The goal is to release it either late this year or early next year. Both Kumar and Mishra are first-time game makers. Kumar has experience in marketing and management, while Mishra has experience in project management and business analysis. He is currently working for Wells Fargo Bank as a senior business analyst.
Kumar recently had a visa denied and is requesting an adjustment, while Mishra had his H-1B visa approved a few days ago.