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US Senate agrees visa free travel for Polish tourists
Radio Polonia ^ | 18.05.06 | Michal Kubicki

Posted on 05/18/2006 10:44:10 AM PDT by lizol

US Senate agrees visa free travel for Polish tourists

The US Senate has passed an amendment to a bill on immigration reform which paves the way for Polish tourists to travel to the States without visas for a trial period of two years.

Report by Michal Kubicki

18.05.06

Polish officials and men-in-the-street have welcomed the news as a step in the right direction.

The visa issue has long been a point of contention in Polish-American relations with Poles having to apply for visas before traveling to America and having to pay for an application, even if they are eventually refused a visa. A fresh initiative to resolve the problem has come from the US Senate which has proposed that the visa waiver programme should cover the countries which are members of the European Union, have sent contingents of at least 300 troops to support the Americans in Iraq and do not pose a potential terrorist risk.

Even though the amendment does not mention Poland by name, it is clear that Poland is the only country to fulfill the three criteria. If made into law, the new legislation would allow Polish tourists and those traveling on business to stay in the States for up to 60 days without a visa. The scheme is to be introduced for an initial period of two years.

The Polish ambassador in Washington Janusz Reiter says the Senate decision is not yet a cause for celebration but for satisfaction and optimism

‘The Senate amendment has created good prospects for the House of Representatives debate. The House will now have to take a stand on a key document and not just respond to requests from Polish diplomatic circles. This is an entirely new situation, in both political and psychological sense.’

Robert Strybel, the Warsaw-based correspondent of the Polish media in the United States, welcomes the decision of the US Senate

‘This is major step forward; so far we’ve had pressure, petitions, letter-writing campaigns…. However, this is an initial step, because the House of Representatives will have to deal with the law and usually the bill does not end up the way it entered the House, so some aspects of it can be modified.’

The amendment was sponsored by a group of senators which included Barbara Mikulski, who a decade ago was among the staunchest supporters of Poland’s entry to NATO

‘Barbara Mikulski from the State of Maryland pointed out that Poland is not just another communist hold-over or a Third World nation begging for a handout but a member of NATO and the European Union, as well as a major US ally in Iraq’.

What at the moment prevents Poland from qualifying for the visa waiver programme is a very high rejection rate for visa applications, caused by numerous cases of people who take up illegal jobs in the States. According to Robert Strybel, the ball in now in the Polish court.

‘There is still this concept of breaking visa requirements, of posing as tourists and going to work, so the ball is now in the Polish court. If there is a two-year probationary period, it’ll be up to Poles to prove they’re within the law’.

Former Polish president Lech Walesa has welcomed the decision of the US Senate.

It is not known at the moment when the immigration policy will be debated by the House of Representatives.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Germany; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 109th; amex; cashorczechsaccepted; dinersclub; mastercard; poland; senate; statedept; visa; visas
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1 posted on 05/18/2006 10:44:13 AM PDT by lizol
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To: Hoodat; redgirlinabluestate; Rushmore Rocks; Jack Black; peter the great; opocno; gadrael; ...
Eastern European ping list


FRmail me to be added or removed from this Eastern European ping list

2 posted on 05/18/2006 10:44:44 AM PDT by lizol (Liberal - a man with his mind open ... at both ends)
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To: lizol

The net effect of this is we'll get a lot of Poles coming over here and overstaying their visas and working illegally as maids and so forth. So I expect this 2-year program won't be renewed.

I expect some Polish ladies might come over looking for husbands as well so if you've always wanted a Polish wife the next 2 years would be a good time.


3 posted on 05/18/2006 11:01:24 AM PDT by Altair333 (Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Mexico Right Over)
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To: lizol

Bring on the Polish Plumbers!!! :)


4 posted on 05/18/2006 11:02:32 AM PDT by dfwgator (Florida Gators - 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions)
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To: lizol

Visa not required, cash or Czechs accepted here now.


5 posted on 05/18/2006 11:04:50 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: dfwgator

"Bring on the Polish Plumbers!!! :)"

They will have to be illegal ones who overstay- these are just 60 day non-working tourist VISAs.


6 posted on 05/18/2006 11:05:04 AM PDT by Altair333 (Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Mexico Right Over)
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To: lizol

You realize that Poland is already a fairly large source of illegal aliens, I hope.


7 posted on 05/18/2006 11:05:24 AM PDT by fzx12345 (Three lefts don't make a right; they invent one.)
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To: lizol
If passed by the Senate, this portion of the bill has to survive the Congress conference between the House and the Senate.

I wouldn't pack my bags if I were a Polish tourist without a visa.

8 posted on 05/18/2006 11:08:38 AM PDT by george wythe
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To: Diddle E. Squat

How about Slovaks?


9 posted on 05/18/2006 11:09:30 AM PDT by Lukasz
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To: lizol

Question: How would you like to be able to visit Poland without a visa? I happen to think that would be quite nice.


10 posted on 05/18/2006 11:12:22 AM PDT by InterceptPoint
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To: Lukasz

It takes forever to clean the house with a Slovak that won't suck up the dirt.


11 posted on 05/18/2006 11:12:33 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: fzx12345

"You realize that Poland is already a fairly large source of illegal aliens, I hope"

no, this statement is false.
All of Europe constitute only 6% of illegal alliens, so Poles might be 1-2% of the total at most.


12 posted on 05/18/2006 11:13:01 AM PDT by nbenyo
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To: InterceptPoint

Americans can visit Poland without visa, for up to 90 days stay.


13 posted on 05/18/2006 11:14:39 AM PDT by lizol (Liberal - a man with his mind open ... at both ends)
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To: Diddle E. Squat
It takes forever to clean the house with a Slovak that won't suck up the dirt.

This is the most anti-Slovak statement that have ever read ;)

14 posted on 05/18/2006 11:16:50 AM PDT by Lukasz
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To: lizol

Another show of stupidity by the illustrious Senate...
Aw heck, let's just throw out the visas...


15 posted on 05/18/2006 11:16:57 AM PDT by Mrs. Darla Ruth Schwerin
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To: dfwgator
Bring on the Polish Plumbers!!! :)

Amazingly enough, my brother in law employs Polish plumbers in Chicago. Non-union, but paid union scale.

16 posted on 05/18/2006 11:19:22 AM PDT by glorgau
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To: lizol

This is a very good deal for Polish tourists wanting to visit the US, and something they have wanted for a long time. However, their record in the past has not been good on tourists overstaying their visas and returning home. If after the two years their record remains high they will lose this visa program.


17 posted on 05/18/2006 11:21:24 AM PDT by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: lizol
Americans can visit Poland without visa, for up to 90 days stay.

You make my point. The Polish people are our friends, in fact one of our best friends. I see no reason why if we can visit for 90 days without a visa that we would not offer them the same terms.

18 posted on 05/18/2006 11:24:48 AM PDT by InterceptPoint
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To: lizol

About time. I have been a proponent of no visas for Polish Citizens for years.

If I had to choose another country of residence besides the US-it would be Poland.


19 posted on 05/18/2006 11:27:04 AM PDT by sockmonkey
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To: lizol

I am a New Zealander working in Germany, IF I want to travel to the U.S. I have to have a visa,I have to pay for the visa, Poland is Germanys next door nabour and they have more problems with the Polish than the Americans have with Mexicians, America, watch out the Polish will steal everything and then try and sell it back to you (used and painted a differant colour ) I have had 2 cars stolen and found in Poland and I live 150 miles from the border, the cars, minus engines etc, were left on the street in Poland and traced back to me, With the good will of the German goverment I had to pay for them to come home ( about $1,800 each time ) I am one of tens of thousands of people in Europe that wish there was a wall.Dont even think about insurance the Poles are the reason that it costs more than the value of the car to cover it aganist theft


20 posted on 05/18/2006 11:28:06 AM PDT by Ngamatapouri
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To: Ngamatapouri

"IF I want to travel to the U.S. I have to have a visa,I have to pay for the visa,"

Well, not everyone was borne to be a winner.


21 posted on 05/18/2006 11:33:01 AM PDT by Grzegorz 246
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To: Ngamatapouri

First of all, you are a liar and secondary maybe you could advocate a wall somewhere in the New Zealand but in Europe you have nothing to say, understand?


22 posted on 05/18/2006 11:37:33 AM PDT by Lukasz
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To: GarySpFc

You're definitely right.

This is a great chance for the Poles. If we screw it up - we can blame only ourselves.

But I hope this is not going to happen.

In fact big part of the European job market is opened for the Poles today. With special emphasis on UK.
So - if someone wants to go abroad to work - can do it without problem, and being much closer to home.

You see - it's different to go to UK, when within 2 hours you can be back home, paying relatively small money for travel. If you get a well paid job, it's possible, that you can visit your family even every weekend.

And it's absolutely different with U.S. It's reeeeealy far away.
I remember - when I was there in 1995 (stayed almost 3 months) and was calling my parents and girlfriend (wife now :-) - I could almost hear sound of waves of the ocean :-)))


23 posted on 05/18/2006 11:43:52 AM PDT by lizol (Liberal - a man with his mind open ... at both ends)
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To: Ngamatapouri
watch out the Polish will steal everything and then try and sell it back to you (used and painted a differant colour )

In California we call them "Tijuana Taxis."

IIRC, a German minister showed up at work with a nice late-model Mercedes, and one day it was gone.

Not what you're thinking though. He'd just bought an expensive Polish recycle car and it was the Polizei who took it away. He complained at the loss, and they said to suck it up -- that's what you get for buying a stolen car.

24 posted on 05/18/2006 11:48:27 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: lizol
Australian government Advise to travelers in Poland .

Street crime such as mugging, CAR JACKING, and theft occurs in Polish CITIES. Criminal gangs often target vehicles with foreign No. plates by posing as police officers etc., etc., www.smartraveller.com /advice Poland /crime
And the web sites of nearly all European countries are the same
25 posted on 05/18/2006 12:05:03 PM PDT by jerryem (naturally, I will be misinterpreted)
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To: Ngamatapouri; Lukasz
I am a New Zealander working in Germany, IF I want to travel to the U.S. I have to have a visa,I have to pay for the visa

Yeah, you're as much a New Zealander, as I am an Eskimo, you petty liar.

Visa Waiver Program - Participating Countries.

Andorra

Iceland

Norway

Australia

Ireland

Portugal

Austria

Italy

San Marino

Belgium

Japan

Singapore

Brunei

Liechtenstein

Slovenia

Denmark

Luxembourg

Spain

Finland

Monaco

Sweden

France

the Netherlands

Switzerland

Germany

New Zealand


United Kingdom


http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html#2

You're a lazy liar too, as you could have done some search before you posted this BS.


26 posted on 05/18/2006 12:05:06 PM PDT by lizol (Liberal - a man with his mind open ... at both ends)
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To: jerryem

What a happy country that Australia must be, if they don't have "Street crime such as mugging" there.


27 posted on 05/18/2006 12:06:50 PM PDT by lizol (Liberal - a man with his mind open ... at both ends)
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To: Ngamatapouri

28 posted on 05/18/2006 12:11:04 PM PDT by twinself
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: lizol
I can see by your ignorance that you must have run away from Poland, Police trouble?
New Zealanders like all the other countries on your list are only eligible if they have machine readable passports( electronic ) and even with that you have to pay $6.00
I have not an MRP as it does not work in countries like Poland
31 posted on 05/18/2006 12:24:40 PM PDT by Ngamatapouri
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: GarySpFc
A number of years ago a number of Polish Gypsies came in a they were a crime wave unlike any other group.

Some of their victims were personal friends of either Boxer or Finestien so the Visa program held it against all Poles.
33 posted on 05/18/2006 12:27:46 PM PDT by investigateworld (Abortion stops a beating heart)
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To: Ngamatapouri
I can see by your ignorance that you must have run away from Poland,

I can only see, that you probably spend to much time with people from certain groups in Germany

Maybe you can find yourself somewhere on this picture


34 posted on 05/18/2006 12:38:24 PM PDT by lizol (Liberal - a man with his mind open ... at both ends)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: vox_PL
But he's not a German, hes a New Zealander


36 posted on 05/18/2006 12:56:08 PM PDT by lizol (Liberal - a man with his mind open ... at both ends)
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To: investigateworld
A number of years ago a number of Polish Gypsies came in a they were a crime wave unlike any other group.
Some of their victims were personal friends of either Boxer or Finestien so the Visa program held it against all Poles.


Sorry, but I do not buy your fiction. It takes a history of several thousand tourists visa violations to be taken off the list, and a few gypsies couldn't accomplish that. That said, I am happy for the Poles, but their history is dismal, and I fully expect they will be taken off the list in two years.
37 posted on 05/18/2006 1:09:04 PM PDT by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: GarySpFc

Time will show. I don't. Not with Ireland and Great Britain welcoming my compatriots with open hands.


38 posted on 05/18/2006 1:11:59 PM PDT by twinself
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To: GarySpFc
Believe what you what, but that's what I was told when I tried to help some Poles get visas, by an INS Supervisor when I axed for some professional courtesy.
39 posted on 05/18/2006 1:13:45 PM PDT by investigateworld (Abortion stops a beating heart)
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To: investigateworld

Somebody at the INS did not know the correct answer, and so the answer they gave you was a rumor or urban myth. I have spent several years studying the immigration issue, and I know the how the visa waiver program works.


40 posted on 05/18/2006 1:25:25 PM PDT by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: twinself
Time will show. I don't. Not with Ireland and Great Britain welcoming my compatriots with open hands.

The American visa waiver program is not based on how Britain and Ireland welcome you, but on what percentage return before their tourist visas expire. You won the right to visas for helping America in Iraq, now do not lose that right.
41 posted on 05/18/2006 1:28:13 PM PDT by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: GarySpFc

See you in 2 years time.


42 posted on 05/18/2006 1:30:08 PM PDT by twinself
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To: GarySpFc
Your screen name implies a military background. Have you ever heard of 'back channels
I'm not picking a fight, the story seemed plausible as there were a number of newspaper articles listing the wealthy who were victimized.
The Polish guys, did get their visas rather rapidly as the INS Supervisor did steer me towards the right answers the Visa Officer at our embassy would want to hear.
43 posted on 05/18/2006 1:32:47 PM PDT by investigateworld (Abortion stops a beating heart)
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To: investigateworld

Yes, I have a military background, and I am familiar with back channels. That said, the law regarding the visa waiver program is very strict, and a few gypsies would not skew the results. Additionally, the INS has nothing to do with this program, rather it is administered by the State Department.


44 posted on 05/18/2006 2:01:21 PM PDT by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: twinself
Maybe these noob boys are just taking revenge for this one.
46 posted on 05/18/2006 2:39:48 PM PDT by Grzegorz 246
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To: Ngamatapouri; Grzegorz 246

You have got the old passports or the ones issued by the NZ High Commission in London, haven't you? All the new passports issued back home are machine-readable and NZ is certainly on the visa waiver list.


47 posted on 05/18/2006 5:05:06 PM PDT by NZerFromHK (Leftism is like honey mixed with arsenic: initially it tastes good, but that will end up killing you)
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To: lizol; Ngamatapouri; DieHard the Hunter; shaggy eel

Are you really a true blue Kiwi? Can you name what happened to the Bluff worker out at sea last week?

If you can't then you are lying here.

(To lizol: it depends on which types of NZ passports that can be used to travel to the US without visas. This is what the Department of Internal Affairs - Passport Division says:




http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Passports-Important-Notices-for-New-Zealand-Passport-Holders?OpenDocument

All New Zealand citizens travelling to, or through, the USA from 26 October 2004 who do not hold a machine-readable passport must either:

* Obtain a machine-readable passport; or
* Obtain a US entry visa. In this situation, keep your current non machine-readable passport and apply for a US entry visa. Information on how to apply for a US entry visa is provided on the US Embassy.

To obtain a machine-readable passport send your application and fee to the New Zealand Passport Office in Wellington. If it is more convenient you may send your application and fee to the Sydney Passport Office, or the London Passport Office.

If you are unsure if your current passport is machine-readable, check the following guidelines.

If your passport is a machine-readable version then the passport number will begin with:

* Either the letter X, L, N, or F; or
* The letters AA, AB or EA.

If your passport is a non machine-readable version then the passport number will begin with:

* Either the letter J; or
* The letter M.

If you are still unsure, contact us, or ask your travel agent who should be able to advise you.

Most non machine-readable passports are likely to have been issued outside New Zealand, Australia or the United Kingdom.


)


48 posted on 05/18/2006 5:13:12 PM PDT by NZerFromHK (Leftism is like honey mixed with arsenic: initially it tastes good, but that will end up killing you)
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To: NZerFromHK

OK, it's like you're saying.

But the point is, that his first post was aimed to make an impression, that he's a New Zealander (if he actually is), and has to apply for a U.S. visa anyway, whereas some Poles, who don't do anything but stealing - will not have to do it.

And in fact - it's only the matter of passport. If he got a new one - he could go to U.S. without visa.

And I'm pretty sure, that it will be exactly like that with the Poles too - if this law is accepted.


49 posted on 05/19/2006 12:20:55 AM PDT by lizol (Liberal - a man with his mind open ... at both ends)
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To: lizol

I agree. This is why I don't think he was completely honest at all to some extent. And he fails to mention that all NZ passports are machine readable - the new ones that aren't are only issued as "emergency documents" for you to travel on an interim measure until you can write to one of the three offices for a permanent replacement.


50 posted on 05/19/2006 12:32:52 AM PDT by NZerFromHK (Leftism is like honey mixed with arsenic: initially it tastes good, but that will end up killing you)
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