Final Word from Tuesday, July 31, 2007

George W. Bush is expected to sign a security bill within days that, if all goes well, will end visas for Czechs in about two years. Several things must happen first, though. The Homeland Security secretary must show that an air-exit system has been put in place for certifying the departure of at least 97% of foreign air travelers. He has one year to do this, but it might take longer. This system must be ready before a "visa overstay rate" can be calculated for Czechs. The CR would need to have an overstay rate of a certain level (not yet defined) or a max. 10% visa-refusal rate for a full fiscal year before qualifying for a waiver. More uncertain is the initial qualifier that the CR have a "sustained reduction" in the visa-refusal rate and that "conditions exist to continue such reduction." For several years, the refusal rate has apparently been around 9-10%. Visa-less travel for Czechs could ultimately depend on how "sustained reduction" is defined.[Czech Republic United States of American immigration rejection]


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