Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The long march to California is still in the early-planning phase, or at least in the early-learning & early-setting-up phases.
Another hurdle behind us today - I got our ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) clearance from the US Department of Homeland Security.
This is something you still need before you can get near the USA, even if you qualify for the Visa-Waiver Program.
Can't really complain, as it is free & only takes a few minutes.
The application procedure, on-line, didn't seem terribly in-depth somehow.
• Country where you live?
• Passport number & dates?
• Arriving flight number?
OK – there was a trick question at the end where you had to give the passport number a second time…
I suppose that filters out a few undesirables.
Then there were some really searching questions.
But I didn't have to think very hard before answering, for instance:
• between 1933 and 1945 were you involved, in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?
• are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?
• are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide?
If you have recently kicked the genocide habit, then presumably you are OK…
They must feel a whole lot more secure in The Homeland now they are protected by cunning questions like those!
Wonder how much they paid somebody to come up with that lot?
And do they pay somebody to read the answers?
Imagine the joy when he gets a "Yes"!
Parting thot: "Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers." - Tony Robbins
Oh, by the way; in case any Homeland Security personnel are reading this – it is meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongue-in-cheek). Thanks, guys!