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Visa Bs Again For The Us?

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I would think that many of the Americans here remember the couple of questions about US visa restrictions during the 2012 bid from middle-eastern members of the IOC and now with the latest article about Chicago hosting the Boxing World Championships in a couple of weeks has restated this idea.

I am sorry but to anyone that thinks visa/entry restrictions are going to damage a US bid, ask yourself why they didn't and weren't ever brought up with Russian and Chinese bids, Chinese restrictions that are so tight that you have to have different visa for Hong Kong than the one you need for the capital region of Beijing. This is grasping at straws against the US bids and it is a non-issue. Salt Lake City hosted within months of September 11th, and there was no problems.

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Visa are always an issue US or not US.

There is an entire section of the bid books dedicated to the fact that any Olympic family member accredited to to the Games should be able to enter the host country and also be able to perform their duties during the Games.

I have to admit I am not too familiar with the visa in Russia or China but my understanding is that they have some "fast track" procedures to deliver visas for special events (such as the Games). If I remember correctly Russia has stated that Visa won't be necessary for accreditated people for Sochi.

As for the US, there has been a couple of incidents in the past (not necessarely by the US fault BTW) that has been highlighted in the media, which is why some feel it will be an issue for any US bid.

As you mentionned, the US has an extensive experience in hosting sports events so I don't think it will be an issue.

On a more personnal note, it is getting more and more difficult to get to the US. Rumour has it that everyone in France might need a visa even for tourism in the future (I think it has something to do with the fact that France and the US don't agree on what kind of biometrics data should be stored on passports).

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Personally I think the Australian system is brilliant, a quick and simple electronic visa that everyone has to have to speed up getting into the country upon arrival. Also the fact that it can be obtained through the travel-agency is even more so.

Speaking of Beijing, I think that proof of Beijing tickets is enough to get you into the country for the games because of the passport requirement to purchase tickets.

Russia requires a visa and a proof of hotel reservations or a letter establishing you have a place to stay during you visit Russia.

I just found it strange that is only comes up so fiercely in regards to the United States, when another fancied bid in 2016 has fair more strict and vindictive passport and visa requirements in Brazil.

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I think it is just an overblown issue. The difficulty is that in some countries, yes, Islamic- and Islamic-leaning countries, naturally, visa applications will undergo greater scrutiny. That's where the difficulty lies -- it's in the lead times required PLUS the counterchecking that the Embassy has to do. Yes, US Embassy personnel abroad probably have not increased all that much, and all vetting work done by local employees get to be double-checked. THe main thing is apparently there are that many people wanting to come to the US -- for WHATEVER reason, visit, school, business -- but the waiting list and checking times are much longer, that indeed it appears to be a problem.

But I think the Chicago people, the USOC, the Boxing federations can work together with the State Department by issuing names at this time -- working with databases from Interpol and Israel and allied intelligence services, and they can fast-track the visa applications -- and build a 2016 Olympic database.

This is just another old news story. Should be a non-issue really.

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I think it is just an overblown issue. The difficulty is that in some countries, yes, Islamic- and Islamic-leaning countries, naturally, visa applications will undergo greater scrutiny. That's where the difficulty lies -- it's in the lead times required PLUS the counterchecking that the Embassy has to do. Yes, US Embassy personnel abroad probably have not increased all that much, and all vetting work done by local employees get to be double-checked. THe main thing is apparently there are that many people wanting to come to the US -- for WHATEVER reason, visit, school, business -- but the waiting list and checking times are much longer, that indeed it appears to be a problem.

But I think the Chicago people, the USOC, the Boxing federations can work together with the State Department by issuing names at this time -- working with databases from Interpol and Israel and allied intelligence services, and they can fast-track the visa applications -- and build a 2016 Olympic database.

This is just another old news story. Should be a non-issue really.

That's why is frustrating, it should be a non-issue but certain IOC members always use it as a negative factor towards the US.

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It's easy enough for any country to fast track visas when there is a big event going on. I found it incredibly easy to get a vuisa to China, for example, when I was there for a big event a year or so ago. And, yes, the US system at the moment can be tortuous and officious, but that's certainly understandable in the current internatuional climate. And anyway, the US has shown already that it can be flexible when needed _ witness it's relaxation on not allowing HIV-positive visitors entrance to the US for the Gay Games in Chicago last year.

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That's why is frustrating, it should be a non-issue but certain IOC members always use it as a negative factor towards the US.

As you may remember during NY-2012 presentation in Singapore, there was a rather unfriendly question about this subject from S.Moudallal from Syria. And he did reference some examples of refused entry to athletes. More so, such cases continue to hit the media. Recently, the captain of Russia's Fed Cup team S.Tarpischev was not given a US visa until the last day before the semi-final match. Intensive USTA support did not help. When he finally got the visa no explanation was given about the delay.

These are at least two IOC members who know that the issue does exist. It is better to address it, than to say it's non-existant, if you want to get the :) 2016, imho. :)

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That's why is frustrating, it should be a non-issue but certain IOC members always use it as a negative factor towards the US.

Agreed but then the question was brought up by some Congress Representatives this time not by the IOC...

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Speaking of Beijing, I think that proof of Beijing tickets is enough to get you into the country for the games because of the passport requirement to purchase tickets.

I'm not sure where you got this from? Australians will still need to organise a Chinese Visa in advance - I should know - I am travelling (and have numerous times before) on one now! Nonetheless they are relatively easy to get - they can take up to 4 days but there is an express service.

Russia is a nightmare though - to the point I have avoided going due to the complicated nature of getting one. You need to prove you have a sponsor in Russia to get a visa in Australia - and depending on the mood of the Russian embassy, a hotel reservation or tour booking is not always enough. Crazy.

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I'm not sure where you got this from? Australians will still need to organise a Chinese Visa in advance - I should know - I am travelling (and have numerous times before) on one now! Nonetheless they are relatively easy to get - they can take up to 4 days but there is an express service.

Russia is a nightmare though - to the point I have avoided going due to the complicated nature of getting one. You need to prove you have a sponsor in Russia to get a visa in Australia - and depending on the mood of the Russian embassy, a hotel reservation or tour booking is not always enough. Crazy.

I remember hearing about it during the bid, things might have changed.

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Russia is a nightmare though

My understanding is that most of regulations are on a bilateral basis, i.e. what it takes for a Russian to get to a country is applied to the residents of that country to get to Russia. So citizens of some countries do not need a visa to Russia, while others have to go through a 'nightmare'.

Russia is ready to relax its regime with most of developed countries and has offered to introduce visa-free travel with the EU. The EU is thinking about it. So far the Russia-EU agreement provides for simple procedures for education/culture/sports related travel.

For the Olympics all the accredited visitors will travel without visas and the non-accredited foreign visitors will enjoy the speed-up services of 'Olympic desks' in at least 171 Russian Embassies and all entry ports of Russia.

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My understanding is that most of regulations are on a bilateral basis, i.e. what it takes for a Russian to get to a country is applied to the residents of that country to get to Russia. So citizens of some countries do not need a visa to Russia, while others have to go through a 'nightmare'.

Russia is ready to relax its regime with most of developed countries and has offered to introduce visa-free travel with the EU. The EU is thinking about it. So far the Russia-EU agreement provides for simple procedures for education/culture/sports related travel.

For the Olympics all the accredited visitors will travel without visas and the non-accredited foreign visitors will enjoy the speed-up services of 'Olympic desks' in at least 171 Russian Embassies and all entry ports of Russia.

Russia is a state with potential terrorists traveling out of it, most countries that they precaution.

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