Six EU states urge visa free travel to US

The embassies of six European Union states accredited to Washington joined forces this week to lobby for visa-free travel to the United States for their citizens, Poland's PAP news agency reported.

Six EU states urge visa free travel to US
The embassies of six European Union states accredited to Washington joined forces this week to lobby for visa-free travel to the United States for their citizens, Poland's PAP news agency reported.

The Washington DC embassies of the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Poland signed a joint declaration saying a recent bill passed by the US Congress regarding visa restrictions 'does not meet our expectations.'

The bill specifies that only the citizens of countries which have a less than 10 per cent rate of visa rejection can travel to the US visa-free.

Under the law, citizens of the Czech Republic (9 per cent rejection) and Estonia (7 per cent rejection) will enjoy visa free travel to the US.

However, with an overall 26 per cent rate of US visa rejection for Poland, its citizens will continue to be required to apply for US visas.

Polish officials complain the criteria for granting visas are arbitrary and entirely subject to the whims of US consulate employees.

Anecdotal reports in Poland suggest applicants should visit US consulates on Fridays, when employees are in good spirits ahead of the weekend and tend to approve more applications.

'We will continue to lobby for a visa policy which recognizes our common goals in the area of security, economy and foreign policy,' the six-embassy joint statement said.

'As members of the European Union and ardent US allies we believe that the success of this venture is a very important tool in strengthening our trans-Atlantic alliance without differentiating between the member-states of the European Union,' the statement concludes.

DPA
Last Mod: 10 Ağustos 2007, 16:29
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