Tag Archives: Visa Waiver Program

FORGET ABOUT STAR WARS, OBAMA JUST SIGNED NEW LEGISLATION LAUNCHING VISA WARS

imageWASHINGTON, D.C. (The Adobo Chronicles) – While Americans were camping out in movie theaters nationwide to be among the first to see ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ President  Barack Obama signed new legislation that would discriminate against human beings — including U.S. citizens — based on national origin and travel history.

Both Houses of Congress approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill intended to keep government services funded through September 2016. Tucked into this omnibus legislation are provisions that could undermine, on the basis of personal heritage, the ability of many American citizens to travel visa-free to countries in Europe and east Asia.

For more than 25 years, the Visa Waiver Program has allowed people from a select list of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. without a visa. Those countries, in turn, must reciprocate, allowing Americans the same privilege on their own soil. Congress voted to change the deal: People coming from countries covered under the Visa Waiver Program, including people who are citizens of those countries, will now need to get a visa if they are determined to be nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and Syria, or if they have visited those countries since 2011.

So, if you’re a citizen of Germany whose parents were born in Sudan, or if you are a Japanese citizen who has previously travelled to Iran for business or tourism, then you would need a visa to visit the United States and will no longer be covered under the U.S. Visa. Waiver Program.

If you are an American citizen and a national of the above-named countries, you may soon face retaliatory travel restrictions when visiting friends and family abroad.

The visa wars have begun, and neither Dath Vadar nor Princess Leia could stop it.

AMERICANS VISITING THE PHILIPPINES NOW REQUIRED TO SECURE ENTRY VISAS

Photo source: asianjournal.com
Photo source: asianjournal.com

MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles ) – The government of the Philippines, following in the footseteps of American Samoa, is now requiring U.S. citizens visiting the country to obtain an entry visa.

Previously, Americans were allowed to visit the Philippines for tourism or business for 30 days without the need for an entry visa. But the Philippine government is fed up with the inequality and lack of reciprocity  between the U.S. and the Philippines in as far as travel is concerned.

The Philippines, despite being a former American colony, is not included in the list of participating countries under the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Filipinos wanting to visit the U.S. for business or pleasure need to obtain a visa which is very hard to come by.

VWP is a program of the United States Government which allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the United States for tourism, business, or while in transit for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. The program applies to the 50 U.S. states as well as the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, with limited application to other U.S. territories.

“An eye for an eye, a tooth for tooth,” President NoyNoy Aquino said as he signed an executive order revising the Philippines’ immigration policy as it relates to U.S. citizens.

The visa requirement for U.S. citizens visiting the country will be revoked as soon as the U.S. adds the Philippines to the list of countries under the VWP, Aquino said.

The visa requirement does not apply to U.S. military personnel assigned to the Philippines in connection with the Enhanced Defense Cooperative Agreement (EDCA) which gives the U.S. access to Philippine military bases and deploys military personnel to train Filipino soliders to be better equipped and prepared for combat against insurgents and aggressors.