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US citizens will need a VISA for European countries

US citizens will need a VISA for European countries

Mar 31st, 2004, 10:33 PM
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I'm walking with a limp after AAFF pulled my leg. Went for it hook, line and sinker. Very funny and well done, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happened. Instead of world politics it's like a world kindergarten playground!

Just for fun go to Google and type in weapons of mass destruction, then press I feel lucky. I think you will get a kick out of what happens. At least I did.
Giovanna is offline  
Mar 31st, 2004, 11:16 PM
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well I jotted down the info and then scrolled down!Good April Fools. I had seen the WMD site before and loved it! Now it seems even Georbe W. is playing the game. Do you suppose he will announce it's all an April Fool's joke as well?
PamSF is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 12:14 AM
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Many a true word is spoken in jest.

And this has nothing to do with "childish" global politics, but a very great deal to do with measures the United States has committed itself to, with the assent of its electorate.

The US is due to require biometric passports in October from Visa Waiver countries (ie Schengen plus the UK, Japan, Oz and Ireland). No Visa Waiver country has the technology installed to reissue the relevant millions of passports - not least because the passports are illegal under EU Data Protection legislation, and we don't take kindly to changing our privacy laws at the whim of a foreign legislature.

And no US consulate has the resources to cope with a surge in visa applications.

So your DHS has now written to Congress - whose timetable is congested to death - asking for legislation to postpone biometric passports requirements yet again.

If time isn't found for that bill, the pressure in Europe - not from childish politicians, but from pissed-off voters - to impose identically unrealistic requirements on Americans will be overwhelming.

So if you don't want AAFF's April Fool to come true, get on the phone now to your Congressman to insist that time be found to postpone - or preferably kill -biometric passport implementation.
flanneruk is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 02:38 AM
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You got me! I was ready to pick up the phone and start calling people!
celticdreams is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 03:09 AM
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I think the really frigthtening part of this is that it seems completely plausible...as if people seem to sense that given all the restrictions we have proposed to people entering this country that this sort of thing is just a matter of time. Perhaps the fact that it has NOT happened should be cited when we see these rather frantic, and sometimes very self-centered posts, about "how we'll be treated in Europe."
We should probably be glad that the Europeans are as understanding as they are.
Apr 1st, 2004, 03:41 AM
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flanneruk - last time I responded to you directly, I disagreed in spades. This time I think you are spot on.
Our American friends may think it's funny but actually I DO think European countries should slap an incoming visa charge on them?

Why? To tell them that although they think they rule the world - they do not; and we don't like it and with their present government they fall into the category of citizens of an 'evil empire.

end of post.
alice13 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 03:58 AM
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Alice13: citizens of an evil empire? I do hope you are pulling an April Fool's joke, by stating that piece of mindless jingoism. We(Americans) are now evil? Shame on you if it is not a joke.
Judyrem is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 04:04 AM
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Thanks, AAFF. I read that and, considering the source, wondered how I could have missed your opinion on it, so I read it again. To my surprise, you didn't state an opinion and didn't ask for ours. Then the punchline! Nyuk nyuk.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Apr 1st, 2004, 04:59 AM
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It's nice to see that many of us still have a sense of humor .

I didn't and still don't want to turn this little joke into any serious discussion, but I do believe that some of the beliefs of our European friends here on Fodor are misguided.

First flanneruk, a very knowledgable and valuable Fodor contributor, but with whom I have to slightly disagree here. The deadline of October for the new passport will NOT force the entire population of UK, Schengen countries and few others to get a new passport. What the deadline requires is that ANYBODY that will need a new passport after October 26th, should get the new biometric passport. Every other person with a valid machine-readable passports will still be allowed to use them as long as the passports are valid. It is true that most countries are not ready to issue the new passports and probably won't be till mid-2005, so if this requirement stays, it will inconvinience some, but definitely NOT all.

This is a recent BBC report dealing with the subject:


Now to answer some other comments. Maybe it's a surprise to some, but plans for the new biometric passports were backed by European Union as well as US and UK, and Civil Aviation Organisation. The folks that are opposing it are civil rights organisation, and to some degree I do agree with their stance(personal belief). So don't think this is forced on the world by US government only. This is a byproduct of new technology and the reality of the new world. You could agree with the notion that this will help or as some believe, it won't, but realize that other western countries are in total agreement with this idea, it's just that the technology is not in place just yet.

This is another BBC article dealing with the issue:


And finally, quoting a movie line from "Stripes" as spoken by John Candy character - Lighten up, Roberta

And now back to the regular programing!

Hope most of you enjoyed the little prank!

Have a wonderful day
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 05:11 AM
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Let's hope that the powers that be don't decide that it's a good idea and then implement it!

Good one!
Leona is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 05:20 AM
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Well done, AAFF
ira is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 06:07 AM
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Good one, AAFF!
Anonymous is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 06:14 AM
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You call it retaliation? Why not just call it reciprocity?
You are tightening security? Why could the EU not tighten its security standards?
baldrick is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 06:17 AM
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Bad dog, AAFF. No biscuit.

That said, I just retired an old passport that still had a paper (glued-in) French visa on it. Took up a whole page in the passport so that all sorts of flowery language and official seals and stamps could fit. Soon all they'll have to do is save the eating utensiles one used on the incoming flight, swab them, and your DNA will be on record before your bags have been unloaded. Oh wait, they're not going to be serving food. Oh well...

Gardyloo is online now  
Apr 1st, 2004, 06:21 AM
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I have to admit you pulled my leg. It is a bit close to reality, and I wouldn't be surprised someone came up with that after the next terrorist attack...
baldrick is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 06:23 AM
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Good show, AAFF.
bmillersc is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 06:29 AM
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I'm really confused here. How come so many people say things like "I HOPE this is an April Fool's joke" or seem to take the post seriously. Are people not able to see the giant row of faces and the big letters "Happy April Fool's Day"???
Patrick is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 07:02 AM
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AAFF, you scared the daylights out of me, since I have an upcoming trip!! However, I laughed my butt off when I read the punch line. Thanks for your sense of humor!!
P_M is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 07:33 AM
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I was very relieved to see that it didn't start until June. We'll be back by then. Then I scrolled down. Ho Ho HO

Our US passports expire Jan 05. I plan to start the renewal process this June. Will we get biometric ones?
janeg is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 07:46 AM
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Frank Moss, deputy assistant secretary for Passport Services, presented his organisation's plans to evolve to a new, more secure "intelligent document" from today's paper-based passports at the Smart Card Alliance's Government Conference and Expo conference last week.

"Our goal is to begin production by October 26, 2004," Moss announced.

Current plans call for the new passport books to include a contactless smart chip based on the 14443 standard, with a minimum of 32 Kbytes of EEPROM storage. The chip will contain a compressed full-face image for use as a biometric. European biometric passports, by contrast, are planned to feature both retinal and fingerprint recognition biometrics on their smart cards.

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  

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