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Old 19.12.2015, 22:00
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US Congress to vote on new visa waiver restrictions.

Congress is going even crazier these days. Now they are playing with the visa waver program that will have repercussions on US passport holders (who are also deemed citizens of certain countries).

Link: https://theintercept.com/2015/12/18/...lass-citizens/
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Old 20.12.2015, 00:16
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waver restrictions.

The logic of the actions of Congress boggles the mind.
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Old 20.12.2015, 10:31
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waver restrictions.

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The logic of the actions of Congress boggles the mind.
What? You expect logic? Come on! This is Congress we're talking about here.
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Old 20.12.2015, 12:17
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waver restrictions.

In the past the US State Department would issue a second passport to US business people who travelled to Israel, S. Africa and possibly some other countries. This was to allow them to travel to countries which boycotted these countries without having to jump over hurdles and possibly be denied entry.

I can imagine that Switzerland and EU countries might want to take a page from the US State Department and issue a second passport to their citizens for travel to Iran.
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Old 20.12.2015, 13:07
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waver restrictions.

First comments from Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif.

http://realiran.org/iran-sees-us-vis...rd-zarif-says/

Last edited by Verbier; 20.12.2015 at 13:17. Reason: typo
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Old 22.12.2015, 21:05
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waver restrictions.

It's now law.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35128684

Still working out how to implement it though.

Understand that it's not just US dual citizens who are affected it's anyone eligible for the visa waiver programme if they've travelled to Iraq, Iran, Syria or Sudan in the past 5 years. So a UK or Swiss national could also be caught up in this if they travel/led to any of those countries for work/leisure.

"The US Congress has passed a measure as part of a budget bill that will no longer allow citizens of 38 countries - including the UK - who have either travelled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the past five years or are dual nationals of these states, to travel to the US without a visa."
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Old 22.12.2015, 21:35
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waver restrictions.

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It's now law.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35128684

Still working out how to implement it though.

Understand that it's not just US dual citizens who are affected it's anyone eligible for the visa waiver programme if they've travelled to Iraq, Iran, Syria or Sudan in the past 5 years. So a UK or Swiss national could also be caught up in this if they travel/led to any of those countries for work/leisure.

"The US Congress has passed a measure as part of a budget bill that will no longer allow citizens of 38 countries - including the UK - who have either travelled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the past five years or are dual nationals of these states, to travel to the US without a visa."
How about the Swiss diplomats representing the USA at the US Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Iran?

I could go on. Congress is peopled with lunatics.

It's worth adding that Iran is one of those countries (Greece was another) that historically had no provision for relinquishing citizenship, and based on jus sanguinis generations (basically so long as they bore Persian names) could be treated as Iranian. When I was a kid and living in what was then the community with the largest Greek population of any place outside of Greece (Melbourne has that title now) there were sons of Greeks who would go to Athens knowing they would be (as the State Dept warned them) inducted into the Greek Army. Even though they spoke no Greek. They'd spend a couple of years in the cafes of Athens and never have to go to Vietnam. (OK, that didn't help Pitsillides, but he was Cypriot-American, not really Greek: and it was before the Colonels and talk of enosis. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...rs/id5sdxXbYW0 )
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Old 22.12.2015, 21:48
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waver restrictions.

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In the past the US State Department would issue a second passport to US business people who travelled to Israel, S. Africa and possibly some other countries.
That was never necessary for Israel: you could merely ask and the Israeli border guard would stamp your entry on a separate paper. I asked that when I flew into Ercan International Airport (North Cyprus) and they were happy to oblige.

My recollection is that it was (and maybe still is) the UK that makes it easy to have multiple passports for such reasons. (Diplomats, and especially diplomatic couriers, often have them because their passports may be stuck in consular offices waiting for visas).

A search engine check shows that there are plenty of commercial services that offer to help: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=business%2...ond%20passport
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Old 22.12.2015, 21:50
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waver restrictions.

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"The US Congress has passed a measure as part of a budget bill that will no longer allow citizens of 38 countries - including the UK - who have either travelled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the past five years or are dual nationals of these states, to travel to the US without a visa."
Woah!!!

So Haliburton, all the major oil companies, security companies, mobile phone network providers, humanitarian workers, etc....

Many people in these industries will have more than one passport as a matter of course (so they can travel on whilst the other is at some Embassy or another with their visa application), but this will cause serious problems for so many people. More than a tad short-sighted I think.
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Old 22.12.2015, 21:58
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waver restrictions.

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My recollection is that it was (and maybe still is) the UK that makes it easy to have multiple passports for such reasons. (Diplomats, and especially diplomatic couriers, often have them because their passports may be stuck in consular offices waiting for visas).
Yes, it's still the case.

I used to have quite a few clients with U.S. and Canadian passports who only travelled on their Canadian passports for business because they needed a visa for fewer countries than if they travelled on their U.S. passport.
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Old 23.12.2015, 09:33
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waver restrictions.

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That was never necessary for Israel: you could merely ask and the Israeli border guard would stamp your entry on a separate paper. I asked that when I flew into Ercan International Airport (North Cyprus) and they were happy to oblige.

My recollection is that it was (and maybe still is) the UK that makes it easy to have multiple passports for such reasons. (Diplomats, and especially diplomatic couriers, often have them because their passports may be stuck in consular offices waiting for visas).
Good point about Israel. A VP of international sales at a major US company showed me his second US passport, which was marked something like "valid for travel to Israel and South Africa". He said that he had to go to great efforts to get it. This was about 1990.

In recent years Cuba reportedly stamped pieces of paper for American passport holders, rather than the passport itself, for obvious reasons.
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Old 24.12.2015, 08:44
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waver restrictions.

Iran targeted in HR158 but conveniently Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar absent despite actual links to recent terrorism. More to the point it creates 2nd class citizens, Obama sponsored incidentally. It's going to have repercussions on several fronts, not the least of which is travel even within Europe as countries will reciprocate this ludicrous change. In the larger picture it bullies a country like Iran that is attempting to re-enter the world markets, per usual their citizens will suffer. Yet another form of punitive warfare waged by the US

Revolting
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Old 24.12.2015, 11:08
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waiver restrictions.

Even before this became law the US started refusing Muslims entry into the country.

"Mr Mahmood, who was travelling with his brother and their children, aged eight to 19, had planned to visit their elder brother in southern California and go to the theme parks.

He said UK Border officials told them at the departure lounge that they were not allowed to board the plane, despite them all having authorisation to travel under the US Visa Waiver Programme."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35167511

Gee, the most "powerful" nation in the world scared to death of a Muslim family going on holiday to Disneyland.

Has totally wrecked their Christmas and I doubt they'll get any money back because the travel insurance won't pay up that's for sure. Airline has already refused to refund the money for their flights so they're £9,000 out of pocket.

"But chairman of the home affairs select committee Keith Vaz said there seemed to be a growing pattern of British citizens being refused entry to the US.

"This is one of our closest allies in the world and the way we treat each other's citizens is extremely important," he said.

"If you imagine if an American citizen was told by a British official they couldn't board a plane, there would be complete uproar in the United States of America."

Perhaps they should.
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Old 24.12.2015, 15:10
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waiver restrictions.

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Even before this became law the US started refusing Muslims entry into the country.

"Mr Mahmood, who was travelling with his brother and their children, aged eight to 19, had planned to visit their elder brother in southern California and go to the theme parks.

He said UK Border officials told them at the departure lounge that they were not allowed to board the plane, despite them all having authorisation to travel under the US Visa Waiver Programme."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35167511

Gee, the most "powerful" nation in the world scared to death of a Muslim family going on holiday to Disneyland.

Has totally wrecked their Christmas and I doubt they'll get any money back because the travel insurance won't pay up that's for sure. Airline has already refused to refund the money for their flights so they're £9,000 out of pocket.

"But chairman of the home affairs select committee Keith Vaz said there seemed to be a growing pattern of British citizens being refused entry to the US.

"This is one of our closest allies in the world and the way we treat each other's citizens is extremely important," he said.

"If you imagine if an American citizen was told by a British official they couldn't board a plane, there would be complete uproar in the United States of America."

erhaps they should.
According to this morning's (UK) Daily Telegraph,

"A DHS source told CBS News that one of the brothers was refused entry into Israel two years ago, and his teenage son's Facebook account has links to terrorist websites."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...im-family.html

That said, The Independent today says, "The father has dismissed any suggestion his family had links to a Facebook page which talked about a connection with al-Qaeda."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/pe...-a6785076.html

A number of Americans have indeed been turned back on arrival in London, typically for language deemed to incite hatred. Terrorism accusations have led to a number of anomalies and extraditions. (Well, they couldn't turn back Jerry Springer even if they wanted to because he was born in England.)
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Old 24.12.2015, 17:50
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waiver restrictions.

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According to this morning's (UK) Daily Telegraph,

"A DHS source told CBS News that one of the brothers was refused entry into Israel two years ago, and his teenage son's Facebook account has links to terrorist websites."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...im-family.html

That said, The Independent today says, "The father has dismissed any suggestion his family had links to a Facebook page which talked about a connection with al-Qaeda."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/pe...-a6785076.html

A number of Americans have indeed been turned back on arrival in London, typically for language deemed to incite hatred. Terrorism accusations have led to a number of anomalies and extraditions. (Well, they couldn't turn back Jerry Springer even if they wanted to because he was born in England.)
So why approve them for visa free travel? That info must have already been on their system.
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Old 24.12.2015, 20:28
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Re: US Congress to vote on new visa waiver restrictions.

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So why approve them for visa free travel? That info must have already been on their system.
I think it puts a spotlight on the automatic nature of ESTA (and the misperception that this acts as a visa).

I this case, the State Dept. seems to have denied that all 11 travellers were barred: after all small children are not tarred with the status of their parents (well, in Sharia law, maybe: in Sharia Barack Obama is, indeed, a Muslim, and worse: an apostate. See the Meriam Yehya Ibrahim case (Sudanese Christian sentenced to death, but under US pressure allowed to emigrate.)

When I took my daughter and her non-Amcit toddler to Heathrow last year, I happened to ask the airline rep what happens when someone arrives to check in and hasn't registered with ESTA. The rep answered that some are able to register on the spot using a smartphone; others have to reschedule.

It seems to me that Muslims with any but the best credentials might want to seek visas (as those -- like Nigella Lawson -- with convictions or admitted drug use have to). It doesn't assure admission on arrival either, but at least questions will have been addressed by a consular officer.
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