Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Police.

We had a nice visit from two young police officers who came to verify that Joan lives here and that she is my wife. They asked if I had any family here so I took them into the room with the genealogy tree on the wall and told them the story. They were amazed, to say the least. I showed them all the family pictures on the walls and said we have dinner every night with a large family via the pictures on the walls. They couldn't believe I have done so much research on my family.

Later we went to Kandulski's for our meeting with Zbyszek and he told us about Obama's visit to Poland and the speech he gave.. I asked if Obama said anything about the visa program for Poland and he said no. I told him it was uncelievable for me that Poles have so much trouble getting a visa to the U.S. Zbyszek said he understood why. He said it was because too many Poles get a visa to visit for 90 days but after that time they do not return to Poland. There is a percentage limit of non-returnees to Poland after 90 days and Poles far exceed that limit. This means that if, for example, 50 people come to the U.S. with visas and the limit is 10%, 5 or less remain after the visa expires. In the Polish case, this limit is far exceeded, for example, 15 or 20 do not return. He said that is the reason for the visa problem. He may be right, I don't know. Because the limit is exceeded every year, it is difficult to get an open visa program.

Mieliśmy przyjemną wizytę dwóch młodych policjantów, którzy przyszli, aby sprawdzić,  czy Joan mieszka tutaj i  jest moją żoną. Pytali, czy mam tutaj jakąś rodzinę, więc wziąłem ich do pokoju z drzewem genealogicznym na ścianie i opowiedziałem im historię. Byli co najmniej zdumieni. Pokazałem im wszystkie zdjęcia rodzinne na ścianach i powiedziałem, że codziennie jemy obiad w towarzystwie dużej rodziny ze zdjęć na ścianach. Nie mogli uwierzyć, że wykonałem tak wiele poszukiwań na temat mojej rodziny.

Później poszliśmy do Kandulskich na nasze spotkanie ze Zbyszkiem, a on powiedział nam o wizycie Obamy w Polsce i jego przemówieniu. Zapytałem, czy Obama powiedział coś na temat programu wizowego dla Polski, a on zaprzeczył. Powiedziałem mu, że to jest nie do uwierzenia, że Polacy mają tak wiele problemów z dostaniem wizy do USA, a Zbyszek powiedział, że rozumie, dlaczego. Powiedział, że to dlatego, że zbyt wielu Polaków otrzymuje wizę turystyczną na 90 dni, ale po tym czasie nie wraca do Polski. Istnieje limit odsetek osób niepowracających do Polski po 90 dniach i Polacy znacznie przekroczyli ten limit. Oznacza to, że jeśli, na przykład, 50 osób przyjeżdża do USA z wizami, a limit wynosi 10%, 5 lub mniej pozostaje po wygaśnięciu wizy. W przypadku Polski, granica ta jest znacznie przekroczona, na przykład 15 lub 20 nie wraca. Powiedział, że to  jest przyczyną problemu wizowego. On może mieć rację, nie wiem. Ponieważ limit zostaje przekroczony co roku,  trudno uzyskać otwarty program wizowy.

4 comments:

greenbandman said...

Yes I have heard that story too, but if that was really true then the other Eastern European countries would be excluded too.

David and Joan Piekarczyk said...

Not necessarily if their return percentage didn't exceed the limit.

Michał Matuła said...

According to what I read, it's not about how many of people overstay their visas. The condition to join "visa waiver program" is to have the refusal percentage below this particular threshold.
When applying for visa, Poles go through this process where it is checked whether their ties to Poland are strong enough to be sure they will come back. People who are in the course of education or have property/family/decently paid job here are usually easily permitted to enter the country. Those who don't should be prepared for refusal.
Still to many Poles have their applications denied and that's the main reason we don't travel to America the way many other countries do.
But it's not so great with visa-waiver, either. Being a part of it only means getting rid of this consulate/embassy procedure here. You still need to get visa and you get it pasted into your passport at the arrival airport, just like it's done so far (what you apply for in your home country is not a visa, it's just a promise, a permit). Still, the immigration officer may just refuse and put you on the next return flight if he believes you are not "suitable" to stay. So, ironically, making it hard to board the plane actually makes it easier for some to stay in the US. I think it's not entirely wrong that we still need visas (in the popular meaning). It somehow prevents certain people from spending money on two-way ticket to nowhere by telling them they can't go right now instead of after having landed on the other side of the ocean.

David and Joan Piekarczyk said...

Thanks Michał.