Final Word from Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The good news for Czech travelers bound for North America keeps piling in. First, Canada announced that it's canceling its visas for Czech tourists. Second, the U.S. confirmed that the Czech visa-refusal rate had dropped to 6.7%, well below the 10% level needed for abolishing visas in 1-2 years. And third, the U.S. dollar hit a record low against the crown of about Kč 18.50. With the dollar so low, though, many young Czechs who are seeking to earn money (illegally) in the U.S. and not to spend money there are having to rethink their work/travel strategy. The nest egg from sweeping American floors doesn't grow as fast anymore. Canada, with no visas and a stronger dollar, is suddenly a more viable destination. When Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg asked Czechs not abuse the new visa-free regime, he seemed mainly to have the Roma in mind. But he could just as easily have been warning about a new wave of Czechs seeking to earn a quick (Canadian) buck.[Czech Republic United States of America waiver rejection]


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