Oh JOY, the US government must hate turrists & the turrist industry
It's getting harder and harder to travel to the states. Fingerprints and photos on the way in (and on the way out in some locations), advance passenger information, now online registration. To be honest anything that makes travel safer i am happy to do and if there is a payoff such as easier or quicker lines at immergration then great, but why do the yanks appear to be the only people doing this on this sort of scale ??
9/11 = TSA = Justify their existence.
BTW, U.S. visitors to Australia already have to register their information online prior to travel (they call it an Electronic Visa).
But the Ozzies don't have visa free entry for anyone except Kiwis (who don't count), whereas this is an excues to get rid of the Visa Waiver Program without actually saying you are getting rid of it & annoying most of Western Europe.
In any case it can't be to stop Evil Turrists entering the US as once validated, it's usable for the next 2 years - so expect lots of "cleanskins" to enter the US, get their 2 year clearance then go off and become the Full Jihadi secure in the knowledge that the US has already cleared them.
Perhaps, right or wrong way it may be, they are trying to protect their borders.
We arrived in the US last Wednesday for a holiday. What was very disconcerting was the rude, abrupt manner of the immigration officer. Where do they find these people? We are only here for a holiday & while here we'll spend $3000 - $4000 minimum. All helping the US economy.
We don't expect to be welcomed with open arms but a gentle, kind, even slightly friendly manner would be nice.
I don't mind any new rules to enter th US, anything to keep us all safe is good. But please let's have a little civility when we've jumped through hoops to come here on holiday.
Kencar - I feel I must apologize for the extremely rude Immigration officer. Don't feel too bad, as they don't treat Americans much better. I came through San Francisco Immigration recently and encountered similar very cold treatment by these people. Why don't they just replace them with a computer? Perhaps the situation will improve when we get a decent President in office?
When we flew out of JFK this March, we couldn't believe how much we were shouted at by the TSA security officers. We are well travelled, so know the rules, liquids etc. When we were queueing for security, this women from the TSA came right in my Mums face and shouted 'Keep moving, Keep moving!!!' My Mum answered saying we were going as quick as we can and there was no need to shout. The women answered back saying 'What do you expect?' The whole experience (apart from the immigration officer at JFK who was actually quite friendly) at JFK completely stressful. I am all for new security procedures, but a smile goes a long way (this of course does not just go for JFK)
Note: let me apologize for posting a duplicate note on another post. Though to be fair, I did note a CNN article.
As for the USA Immigration officers, I've had to deal with my fair share in travels. Its been a 70/30 split for good over the bad.
Usually the bad impressions I was left with, was due to business travel into the USA.
For example, just as I was starting a long cross country road trip, I had my car searched at a moderately busy border crossing by USA Customs while being taken aside to speak to speak with Immigration. I had to explain I wasn't coming in for business. They kept wondering why all the tools, SCUBA gear, briefcase, etc.... The briefcase on the front seat was the trigger I guess, even though it only contained a paperback, a sandwich and my maps.
A second time was flying into the USA, and before even leaving Canada I had to deal with USA Immigration in Toronto to explain and justify the details of my TN-1 VISA.
Well, last November I was hauled aside as suspicious, or something, on my arrival in Denver from LHR after a 3-week trip to Europe. My passport shows that I was born in Boston MA. I had all sorts of other ID as well. It took me nearly an hour to convince them that I was OK.
We do have the weird ones at the desks.