Sunday, August 08, 2004
Time for the US government to rectify this problem:
"Former Polish President Lech Walesa wrote to President Bush on Friday asking him to lift visa requirements for Poles and condemning the travel requirement as "disgraceful" in light of historic American-Polish friendship...Currently twenty seven countries, including most Western European states, as well as Australia and New Zealand, are part of the Visa Waiver Program. It's rather sad that nationals of countries like France, Germany and New Zealand can enter the US without visas, while staunch allies like Poland have to wait in the queue. If Poland satisfies machine-readable passports requirements like the other 27 countries, no further obstacles should be places before the Poles. It's exactly the sort of good PR that America needs to convince its allies that it's a good policy to stick with the US.
"Visa requirements are a sore point in Poland, where many citizens feel the country's strong support for the U.S. actions in Iraq has earned them the right to freely enter the United States.
"Further provoking the anger of many Poles is a nonrefundable visa application fee of $100 and a refusal rate which Polish authorities put at about 30 percent."