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Tourist Visa question?

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  • #16
    Then, too, inept State Dept. policies and personnel were responsible for most of the 9/11 hijackers getting visitors' visas to enter the US in Saudi Arabia. Despite incomplete applications and obviously bad answers (place of residence in U.S. -- hotel), they were able to get visas. Probably got them through a travel agency without even going to the consulate.

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    • #17
      Actually, I did try and didn't "fall flat on my ***". And what would you call personnel who do not follow their own rules, grant visas on obviously incomplete applications, or to people they have not themselves met because the visas were given through travel agencies? They were apparently doing what they were told to do by the woman who now heads up the whole effort for the State Dept. because the U.S. government has deliberately tried to curry favor with Saudis. It's a prime example of diplomatic/political objectives conflicting with immigration policies. I believe it was also this woman who turned away from the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia an American woman seeking sanctuary with her two American-Saudi children on the grounds that the embassy "was not a hotel". Coincidentally, Mr. Bush is now trying to convince Saudis to help lower prices for oil.

      Certainly, most State Dept. personnel endure hardships and real danger. The boyfriend of a friend of mine is now attached to the embassy in Iraq, a job I sure wouldn't want. But that doesn't excuse the errors or failures that exist.

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      • #18
        On the contrary, I heard very recently that she's been kicked upstairs to run State Dept consular affairs. You may be thinking of her former boss, whom she replaced.

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        • #19
          I would think the posting of a bond - would be a better system of ensuring the tourist to return on time....Make the bond high enough so that if the tourist doesn't return, the money could be used for deportation costs.

          I just find it hard to believe that our government can't come up with smarter and more effective ways of handling immigration & visa issues all across the board.

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          • #20
            There are better ways in my opinion ("frequent traveler" cards, biometrics, entry and exit checks) but they somehow seem to get shot down for political reasons, such as privacy concerns. And if the government enforced the bond issue the way they don't the sponsorship requirements for a green card or the financial penalties for being an illegal aliens (yes, there are supposed to be fines), well, a bond wouldn't make the slightest bit of real difference.

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            • #21
              I can't speak for others.....but in our case, my wife & I would definitely put up a bond for the issuance of a tourist visa for her sister.....what's the difference if we give 10K or 25K to the government for 3 months for the duration of the tourist visa....we would get the money back once she returns to the Philippines. At least this should be an option. Otherwise, there is 0% chance of this person ever being able to visit us here in the US.

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              • #22
                I have sponsored a friend to come to germany on a tourist visa. When he came to the german consulate in Mumbai with an invitation/sponsor letter from me, he was denied (form not accepted). They asked him to bring a formal sponsorship. For this I had to go to the next foreigners office in my county here in germany, furnish a salary certificate, a police clearance stamp from my local police in the application form, a travel medical insurance for the time he was to come to europe,a copy of my apartment lease contract and my national Id card. the officer asked me a few questions and I was issued a formal sponsorship bond which I had to sign in front of him. The visa was issued to my friend based on this bond. The bond stated that I would pay for all his expenses and guarantee his retun to india. In case of any deportation, I would pay the cost and be blacklisted.

                Pretty neat system. It gives you the option to really invite someone and give the issuing officer evidence of your sincerity.

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                • #23
                  Ah, but it sounds like the Germans are far more "practical" or even hard-hearted than the Americans. They probably actually will hold you to the sponsorship agreements. ****. You even have national ID cards, which are so far a big no-no here.

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                  • #24
                    well, in germany they go by the rule that if they make you sign official stuff you will stick to the laws or whatever you signed. They have no real check/record if the person really left the country although there is an immigration check when you leave the country, unlike the I-94 bits of paper handed to the airline system.
                    The australians have a clear system that issues visas that come with machine readable stickers to be attached to your immgration cards on entry and departure. If you don't depart within the time limit of your visa, a flag comes up in the system and they start processing your case.

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                    • #25
                      Someone12 - Obviously I would be p*i*s*s*e*d, but you know I wouldn't put up that kind of money if I thought there was a chance in H*E*L*L of that happening. It is the cases that are definitely legitimate, such as ours, where the payment of some type of bond would go miles in prooving the true intentions of a tourist visa....that is why I can't believe that this isn't an option in cases such as ours - where the tourist visa recipient can't prove "ties" of returning to the country of origin. The "bond" option would certainly help prove the intentions of the sponsor and recipient. Don't misunderstand, it would be very difficult to get our hands on $10k or $25K for the bond, but we would find a way - short-term loan of some type.

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