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US Considers Removing British Visa Waiver

Read in a paper earlier today that America is considering rescinding the Visa Waiver Scheme it has with the UK as we are now viewed by 'those in power' as a bigger terror threat than Afghanistan. The UK government has been criticised for having a softly-softly approach towards the Islamic community that resides here and the US feels that potential terrorists of, say, Pakistani origin, will bypass screening routines to uncover them because they are British Passport Holders.

By removing the Visa Waiver Scheme and making everyone from the UK have to apply/buy a Visa to enter the States it will mean th4e US can carry out greater security checks on each person.

Of course it will also mean having to que at the American Embassy to get a Visa, almost certianly have to pay money for a Visa and make travelling to America (be it on pleasure or business) a much harder and more annoying task.

The thing that makes this more irritating for me (if the NeoCons get their way and stop the Scheme) is that I once had a Lifelong Visa valid up to six months a time (and only having to be outside the US for one 24 hour period before the clock was reset for another six months) for the States which I got when I went to school over there. The thing was they removed that when I updated my passport in the early 90's as the Waiver Scheme had come into effect so they claimed I'd never need it again.

Looks like I might do now :(

Curse them.

(6m Brits in US visa curb; The Sun Online; Wednesday 30th August 2006)

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
karohemd
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:33 pm (UTC)
Good thing I have a German passport, then. :oP
angusabranson
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it might be time for me to actually apply for a French one.
heliograph
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
Which paper?
angusabranson
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, one of the high brow usually very factual ones that they have in greasy spoon cafes over here. I ended up having a late breakfast/early lunch at just such a reputable establishment and that was all the reading material they had on hand.

They actually had a few interesting articles before I wandered off to the back pages to read about football :p
heliograph
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)
I Googled it, and I couldn't find anything newer than 2004 on the topic.

If you see something online, let us know!
angusabranson
Aug. 30th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
The article was in The Sun - just saw the front cover on a newstand I passed and recognised the lead story.
heliograph
Aug. 30th, 2006 05:32 pm (UTC)
I think this is poorly recycled old news. The bit about Afghanistan I remember from way back, but the other bits?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3378717.stm

From 2004.
(Deleted comment)
heliograph
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:47 pm (UTC)
That was pretty much my first thought too. I suspect it would really put a fork in American tourism in the UK, though.
angusabranson
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:50 pm (UTC)
It wouldn't really be all that good for eitehr side economically I reckon.

I think (hope) things would have to get a lot worse before something like this actually gets the green light.
angusabranson
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC)
I think it would end up being a two-way thing. Our civil service isn't exactly known for doing other countries *favours* after all. Especially if they feel affronted for whatever reason :p

It's just annoying. To be honest, I think it'll take a lot more before something like this kicks in. I don't think Bush will want to piss Blair and the UK off *that* much at present - regardless what neo-cons are whispering in his ears...
karohemd
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, where did you read it?
angusabranson
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
see my reply to Matts question above :p
(Deleted comment)
angusabranson
Aug. 30th, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
It was something the paper said was being considered. As such it certainly wouldn't be on the relevant Embassy sites as yet. Hopefully it'll never come to pass - but the NeoCons do have a tendency to get their way with Bush in power.
becky_spence
Aug. 30th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
I remember the look of outrage on my mum's face when we visited the US in 1997, as she had been given an unlimited entry visa many, many years ago thanks to following Dad round (he was in the Merchant Navy) in her passport - and US Customs put a great big line through it and told her it couldn't be used after this visit....

Guess unlimited somewhat changed meanings...
kostika
Aug. 30th, 2006 07:36 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...I'll have to make sure I keep ahold of my US passport then when I finally get around to getting my british one.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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