Saturday, December 27, 2008

So, if I want to visit those I really care about in the States, here's the process I would need to go through.

Did you know about the official form needed to enter America? You can view it over here.

If you're a member of parliament here in Belgium and you're thinking of flying into the States on a successful Belgian businessman's private jet ... start applying much earlier, as the terms of entry are even worse than those listed below and you need to appear at the American Embassy in Belgium on the date designated by them or wait for the next available date if matters of importance (as in running a country) demand your attention. No one can appear on your behalf.

I had heard rumours of question (c) but thought a cruel and foolish joke being made about those who designed the form but no, they really do ask 'C) Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide; or between 1933 and 1945 were you involved , in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies? * Yes No'

My reading began with a simple search on ...Travel to the United States: New Requirements. Posted: 19 December 2008, 12:15 NZDT

The United States has introduced a new electronic visa waiver system that will come into force on 12 January 2009. From this date, all New Zealanders planning to travel to the United States for less than 90 days for business or tourism without a visa will be required to obtain an on-line travel authorisation before they go

Do any of the following apply to you? (Answer Yes or No)
Please select if you need additional help on any of these questions.

A) Do you have a communicable disease; physical or mental disorder; or are you a drug abuser or addict? * Yes No

B) Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or have been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or have been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities? * Yes No

C) Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide; or between 1933 and 1945 were you involved , in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies? * Yes No

Waiver of Rights: I have read and understand that I hereby waive for the duration of my travel authorization obtained via ESTA any rights to review or appeal of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer's determination as to my admissibility, or to contest, other than on the basis of an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for admission under the Visa Waiver Program.

In addition to the above waiver, as a condition of each admission into the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, I agree that the submission of biometric identifiers (including fingerprints and photographs) during processing upon arrival in the United States shall reaffirm my waiver of any rights to review or appeal of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer's determination as to my admissibility, ...

P.S. What is 'moral turpitude? Is it a movable definition based on the personal belief system of each person asking the question or some kind of serious crime over there in the States?


Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

good lord, thanks George W for making everything so difficult----hey, you gonna stop by Ithaca, NY????

Di Mackey said...

I snorted through my nose when I read your question, Gary - in a good way, withheld laughter and all that.

I would love to call by your studio and buy a whole pile of your stunning pottery but it's just whether I have what it takes for the questionnaire (I need to find out precisely what 'moral turpitude' is before I can sign for example), the finger-printing, the mug shots and the waiver of rights on arrival...

V-Grrrl said...

At least it's electronic and can save you from getting a visa.

Talk to someone who has navigated Belgium's paper system. Cindy, an ATTORNEY who worked with a professional relocation service in Brussels to facilitate the move to Belgium still had a nightmarish time. Deported. Forbidden entry into ANY EU country after the deportation in Belgium (which "lost" her paperwork over and over again).

Remember I had to get my CAT an EU passport to fly one way out of Belgium to the U.S.? Not to ENTER Belgium, to leave it permanently!

Travel requirements are crazy everywhere. Earlier this year I read an article about a Brit being refused entry into New Zealand because she was TOO FAT!

Di Mackey said...

I got the giggles, Ms V.

Did you read the big piece on moral turpitude? It's truly hilarious.

All kinds of things fall into the category of that particular crime and it leaves the door open to chuck anyone out.

Adultery and tax evasion are two crimes of moral turpitude on the serious list of the state dept. that I know would keep more than a few people out.

You can't take this kind of thing seriously, I just struggle with the idea of having mugshots taken, finger prints and then having to answer a questions about whether I'm a spy ... when all I want to do is visit some gorgeous American friends of mine.

Di Mackey said...

Oh, and I did the Belgian application system with resulting mess, and my brother in law couldn't get into Australia.

I think it's only as we stop being afraid to speak out that we get to work towards stopping this kind of nonsense. I wonder how many will lash out at this post. Let's see it - it was really about putting it out there for people to see, as I've written extensively on trying to get into Belgium and I think I've covered NZ stuff in the past too.

But talking to an American friend, I realised she didn't know what I would have to go through, despite the fact she's visited me in NZ, Turkey and Belgium.

The fat story from New Zealand is here, there's also a too skinny story,,2213843,00.html

V-Grrrl said...

You ought to watch The U.S. vs. John Lennon.

Abuse of power there, trying to get him deported because, gee, he was leading a PEACE movement.


traveler one said...

That's just totally bizarro!

Lydia said...

'Turpitude' sounds like its origin would be the same as that for 'turpentine,' which is described as:

"1 a: a yellow to brown semifluid oleoresin obtained as an exudate from the terebinth

That makes about as much sense as this stupid process to enter the U.S.

Carlos Lorenzo said...

Why do they always ask absurd questions, like are you a spy or a terrorist, man, find out yourself, they pay you for that! Happy New Year Di :)

RD said...

In short, Di, just stay away! We don't want your likes within our borders--you're scary. Adultery and tax evasion? That would bar most of our politicians, government officials and corporate leaders from entering the country!l;

I wish I could offer some helpful advice, but I wouldn't know what to do here. Talk to those who've done it--there are plenty in Brussels who've traveled here on business and leisure. Good luck! I hope you can come for a visit!

Di Mackey said...

I can only agree, Kim.

Indeed, Lydia. And the States is touted as being the land of the free but it was simpler for me to visit the son of a friend in prison back in NZ. Bizarre huh.

The question stunned me, Carlos. I can't work out if someone was being funny or they really believed that spies and etc would answer that particular question, confessing their most secret occupation ...

Happy new year to you too, Carlos. I'm looking forward to seeing your photographs of 2009.

Hey RD :) I had looked into landing in Canada and busing over the border but we lost a NZer there for a month last year under horrendous circumstances - he had overstayed his visa by a day or two and was trying to sneak out through Canada and the bus. He was only released after a big blog protest and publicity back home. I think these questionnaires and processes are everywhere but Turkey and Egypt are so much more relaxed.

Perhaps my American friends could pop over to Canada and we'll have a big party over there???

Simon said...

I had to fill in one of these when I went to New York in the spring.
Photo here.

paris parfait said...

It's just outrageous the measures HS have implemented under Bush-Cheney. A waste of time, money and energy for all concerned. xo

Pam said...

Canada, Di, is just up the road for us, should you end up in Vancouver, I will get in the car and head north.

Moral turpitude is the act of asking what moral turpitude is! Everyone knows that!

When completing visa and immigration paperwork, a sense of humor is essential. The protest work comes before (in the voting booth?) or after (when once on US soil, you get to interact with the citizenry, who will invite you along to moral turpitude themed parties).

Di Mackey said...

I had to laugh when I viewed your straight-forward flickr question with photograph, Simon. It's always a bit scary criticising anything like this but really ... who do they expect to answer these foolish questions.

I didn't realise how much I couldn't bear the idea of visiting friends in the States because of this stuff until I revisited the list of entry requirements. I'm not a criminal and this stuff only happens to criminals in my world.

It's so depressing, Tara. I do hope the Barack addresses this issue.

Pam, and that is why I adore you and thanks for the heads up on moral turpitude. The parties sound brilliant and superb.

bugbytelove said...

Moral turpitude? That's if you burn the toast then serve it to your guests burnt side down.

I live here - so sorry, had no idea people had to go through such nonsense to get into this whacked up country. Makes me want to leave and never come back, but then the most moral turpitudious one of all will be gone Jan 20, 2009. Think I'll stick around.

Happy New Year!

Di Mackey said...

Hey Bugbytelove, the whole world is watching to see if Mr Obama can do better ... I guess that's silly, he can only do better :)

Wishing you all the very best in 2009 and thanks for calling by.