Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘United States Customs and Border Protection Service’

18th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) is apparently poised to begin issuing new identification cards to participants in the Global Entry Program. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of USCBP, CBP.gov:

Washington – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today announced that Global Entry members will now be issued a Global Entry version of the SENTRI card which allows expedited entry into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico using the NEXUS, SENTRI and Ready Lanes at land ports of entry. The new card operates as a SENTRI card for Global Entry members. The Global Entry card is a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology-enabled document that may be used by U.S. citizens when entering the U.S. through a land or sea port of entry from Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean…

Readers are strongly encouraged to click upon the aforementioned hyperlinks noted above to read this information in detail.

Frequent readers may recall that the Global Entry Program was purportedly created in an effort to streamline the process of entering the United States for American Citizens. How the creation of new identity cards will facilitate this program remains to be seen, but hopefully such developments will be beneficial for all concerned.

In news pertaining to the economies which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam), it recently came to this blogger’s attention that some commentators are noting positive economic developments in the region. To quote directly from the Money Control website, MoneyControl.com:

ASEAN economy has proven itself to be resilient, but there are lingering challenges and risks, including the sovereign debt crisis and fiscal problems in some developed markets, rising food and commodity prices, and continued financial market stresses…According to the ASEAN secretariat’s press release received yesterday, ASEAN’s recovery as a whole has matured as both exports and domestic demand fueled growth to expand by 7.5% last year. Intra-regional trade and investment flows also showed an upward momentum and are likely to support domestic growth this year, which is projected between 5.7% and 6.4%. ASEAN`s merchandise trade grew at 32.9% last year, as trade value jumped from USD 1.54 trillion in 2009 to USD 2.04 trillion last year, after the 19% decline in 2009,” according to ASEAN`s high ranking officials as quoted by the secretariat. As an attractive foreign direct investment (FDI) destination, ASEAN has maintained its allure…

The administration of this blog recommends that readers click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

As ASEAN jurisdictions continue to be “alluring” to foreign investors it stands to reason that further economic growth can be expected in the future. That stated, as ASEAN has a unique Constitution in much the same way that each of her component jurisdictions have unique Constitutions one can easily infer that the trajectory and complexion of the economic growth and innovation in the coming years may be quite unlike anything seen in recent memory. For instance, the ramifications of a unified ASEAN visa much akin to the Schengen visa scheme in the European Community could be economically explosive while such a visa scheme could be custom tailored to the unique needs and desires of both ASEAN as a whole and her member nations.

For information pertaining to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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26th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) may have witnessed what would appear to have been an inadvertent breach of the American border by a convoy of Mexican troops. In order to provide further insight into these developments it may be prudent to quote directly from the official website of the NBC affiliate KGNS-TV at Pro8News.com:

A convoy of three military trucks loaded with Mexican soldiers crosses the border at Bridge Number Two clearly violating  international law. It happens as Customs and Border Protection inspectors try to figure out what to do. A CBP spokesperson says they got on the phone with Mexican authorities after being alerted that the military trucks were heading their direction loaded down with soldiers and weapons. Mexican leaders say the soldiers, who had just been deployed to Nuevo Laredo, didn’t know the area, got lost and then made their way through Bridge Two. It’s important to note that CBP did not tell us about the potentially serious situation. It came from another law enforcement agency…

This blogger strongly encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn more from this informative article as well as the video coverage of this event.

Readers may be taken somewhat aback upon learning of some of these events as it is not everyday that Americans see such developments. That stated, this blogger would feel somewhat remiss if he failed to bring up a  similar incident which occurred in Spain a little over 9 years ago, if only to provide some perspective. To quote directly from a 2002 article posted on the official website of CNN, CNN.com:

British troops temporarily invaded Spain when a landing exercise on Gibraltar went wrong. About 20 Royal Marines landed in bad weather on a Spanish beach, thinking they were on British territory. They hastily retreated after locals told them of their error… Spain’s foreign ministry played down the incident as a harmless error that would not undermine negotiations aimed at resolving the Gibraltar issue…

Those interested in the full details of the aforementioned event are encouraged to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to ascertain the whole story.

Clearly, even in an international context, accidents can happen. Inadvertent mistakes can occur. Hopefully these events will be a lesson to America’s public servants about the need to anticipate unexpected events. This blogger must state that in all of his rather limited dealings with USCBP personnel they have comported themselves in a very professional manner. To be candid, USCBP has one of the more difficult jobs in all of the pantheon of American civil service as their responsibilities place USCBP officers in situations where they encounter the most unexpected events (as can be seen from the aforementioned quotation). It is likely hoped that these circumstances will provide insight to future officers. On a side note: unless there has been some very recent change of which this blogger is unaware, the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) currently chairs the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Sub-committee on Customs Procedures. This post was handed off from the Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau in September of last year.

In somewhat related news it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Foreign Minister of Singapore has noted his belief that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) may have a role in dealing with tensions arising in the South China Sea. To quote directly from the website of Channel News Asia, ChannelNewsAsia.com:

INDONESIA: Singapore said ASEAN can play a role managing territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The resource rich waters are being claimed – in part or all – by a number of ASEAN countries, as well as China and Taiwan. Tensions recently escalated between the Philippines and China over overlapping claims. Singapore’s Foreign Minister K Shanmugam said all parties must learn to resolve these occasional incidences, without increasing tension…

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the appropriate hyperlinks above to read this story in detail.

Clearly, the nations which compose ASEAN (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam) are going to be increasingly important in any international dialogue pertaining to the South China Sea. The news noted above comes amidst developing news regarding talks between the United States and China. It would appear as though one of the main objectives of these talks is the maintenance of freedom of navigation at sea. However, maintaining such freedom can often require timely discussions especially in geographic areas with a history of tension. To quote further from ChannelNewsAsia.com:

HONOLULU, Hawaii : The United States and China were holding first-of-a-kind talks Saturday on rising tensions in the South China Sea, with Beijing angry over Washington’s support of Southeast Asian countries. Senior officials of the Pacific powers were meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, days after the United States rallied behind the Philippines and Vietnam which have been alarmed at what they see as Beijing’s growing assertiveness at sea. Kurt Campbell, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said ahead of the talks that he would make clear to China the “strong principles” of the United States in defence of freedom of navigation…[sic]

This blogger encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks above to learn more.

Disputes occurring on the high seas can sometimes have implications for virtually every country around the world. As Southeast Asian nations continue to thrive and expand both in a domestic economic context as well as in an international economic context it stands to reason that their growth may be concerning to other jurisdictions in Asia. Meanwhile, the increasing prominence of the so-called BRICS countries in an international context has raised discussion regarding the geopolitical complexion of the future global economy. Hopefully, discussions pertaining to all of these matters will yield tangible benefits for the people who could be most impacted by events occurring in this region.

For information about conducting business in the United States of America please see: US Company Registration.

For information about legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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12th April 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that a 9th circuit decision in the United States Federal Court System regarding issues associated with the 4th Amendment as well as issues which could impact American agencies such as the United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (USICE, but sometimes referred to simply as ICE) has been handed down.  To quote directly from a recent article posted on Yahoo News at Yahoo.com:

If you can’t let a day go by without accessing your personal data and files, you’d better think twice about crossing the border back into the U.S. with your computer.  That’s because digital devices such as a laptop computer can be seized at the border without a warrant and sent to a secondary site for forensic inspection.

That ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last week is the second in less than a year that allows the U.S. government to conduct offsite searches of digital devices seized at the border without a warrant, Network World reported.

This could have big implications for business travelers, in particular, who are increasingly mobile and frequently carry laptops and other digital devices containing sensitive personal and company information across our borders. If your data reveals traces of criminality or illegal kinkiness when examined, your troubles will go way beyond temporary data denial.

This blogger has yet to take a great deal of exception with regard to American policy regarding the 4th Amendment at Ports of Entry in the United States of America as most occurrences that this blogger deals with in connection to such matters involve those who are not American Citizens, or for that matter sometimes not even lawful permanent residents or non-immigrants. Therefore, due to the wide latitude granted to Congress under their plenary authority regarding matters touching upon non-US Citizens and immigration policy it is difficult for this blogger to make cogent hypothetical arguments for people who have few, if any, rights under the American legal system. That said, when it comes to the search and seizure of American Citizens it is clear that Constitutional protections of Americans’ liberties must be taken into zealous consideration. The aforementioned article continued on Yahoo.com:

Writing for the majority, Judge Richard Tallman said, “The border search doctrine is not so rigid as to require the United States to equip every entry point — no matter how desolate or infrequently traveled — with inspectors and sophisticated forensics equipment.”

The administration of this blog highly encourages all readers to click upon the above cited hyperlinks to read more from this thought provoking story.

This blogger does not particularly take exception with the notion of the so-called “border search doctrine” per se, but this blogger has always felt as though little consideration has been accorded to the notion of the rights, privileges, and immunities of both United States Citizenship as well as underlying State Citizenship (if applicable to the individual being legally analyzed as some individuals come by their United States Citizenship either through operation of law or naturalization).

With all due respect to this Court as their decision had to be made pursuant to the unique set of law and facts available under the circumstances, this blogger’s “hackles get raised” anytime the issues associated with the fundamental rights, privileges, and immunities of United States Citizenship are at issue. Therefore, in order to shed more light upon this subject to the readership of this blog this blogger felt it might be enlightening to note some language from the introduction of the dissent in this case as quoted directly from Judge Betty B. Flecther:

I respectfully dissent. The “sticking point” of this case is not whether the Government’s authority “to subject incoming travelers to inspection for entry also permits the Government to transport property not yet cleared for entry away from the border to complete its search.” Maj. Op. at 4219-20. The real issue, as this case is framed by the government and the majority, is whether the Government has authority to seize an individual’s property in order to conduct an exhaustive search that takes days, weeks, or even months, with no reason to suspect that the property contains contraband.[1] In other words, the problem with this case is not that the Government searched Cotterman’s computer in Tucson as opposed to Lukeville. The problem is that the Government seized Cotterman’s laptop so it could conduct a computer forensic search, a time consuming and tremendously invasive process, without any particularized suspicion whatsoever. [emphasis added]

Those reading this blog are highly encouraged to click upon the links above to read the entire opinion as posted on Google Scholar.

Clearly, the ruling in this case could have a dramatic impact upon those individuals traveling in or through the United States of America. That said, it remains to be seen whether or not this case sees appeal to the United States Supreme Court and should such an appeal be heard: the opinion thereof.

For related information please see: Arrest Warrant.

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17th March 2011

สำหรับผู้ที่ไม่ได้ติดตาม หน่วยบริการการป้องกันเขตแดนและศุลกากรสหรัฐอเมริกา (USCBP) มีหน้าที่รับผิดชอบในการตรวจสอบในส่วนของการเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกา อาจจะมีความเป็นไปได้ที่จะได้รับการอนุมัติที่ทำให้การเข้าเมืองเร็วขึ้นในหลายๆส่วนของการเข้าเมืองและทั่วทั้งสหรัฐอเมริกา อ้างโดยตรงจากโฮมเพจของเว็บไซต์ GlobalEntry.gov:

GlobalEntryเป็นโปรแกรมสำหรับป้องกันเขตแดนและศุลกากรสหรัฐอเมริกา (CBP) ซึ่งอนุญาตให้มีการเร่งการตรวจสอบสำหรับก่อนการอนุมัติ นักเดินทางที่มีความเสี่ยงน้อยที่จะมาถึงสหรัฐอเมริกา แม้ว่าตั้งใจเพื่อจะเดินทางเป็นนักเดินทางต่างชาติอยู่บ่อยๆ แต่คุณสมบัติของการเข้าโปรแกรมนั้นไม่มีตัวเลขขั้นต่ำของความจำเป็นที่จะเดินทาง ผู้เข้าร่วมอาจจะเข้าในสหรัฐอเมริกาโดยการใช้บริการอัตโนมัติที่ติดตั้งอยู่ในสนามบิน

ตามที่อ้างไว้แล้ว อาจจะมีความเป็นไปได้ที่ผู้ที่อยู่ในโปรแกรมเข้าไปในสหรัฐอเมริกาโดยใช้ระบบอัตโนมัติมากกว่าที่จะใช้ระบบมาตรฐานของการเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกาโดยวิธีการเข้าเมืองแบบดั้งเดิม เพื่อความเข้าใจยิ่งขึ้นขออ้างโดยตรงจาก หน้า “เกี่ยวกับ” ในเว็บไซต์ GlobalEntry.gov:

ในสนามบิน โปรแกรมที่ผู้เข้าร่วมทำการผ่านระบบ Global Entry นำเสนอเครื่องที่สามารถอ่านพาสปอร์ตสหรัฐอเมริกา หรือบัตรถิ่นที่อยู่ถาวร โดยการสแกนลายนิ้วมือเพื่อที่จะพิสูจน์ลายนิ้วมือ และประกาศพิธีการทางศุลกากร แผงอัตโนมัตินี้ออกใบเสร็จรับเงินการเดินทางและนำผู้เดินทางไปสู่การนำส่งสัมภาระและทางออก

ผู้เดินทางต้องได้รับการอนุมัติก่อนสำหรับโปรแกรมการเดินทางเข้าทั่วโลก ผู้สมัครทั้งหมดอยู่ภายใต้กฎระเบียบที่เคร่งครัดและการสัมภาษณ์ก่อนการลงทะเบียน

ในขณะที่จุดประสงค์ของการเดินทางเข้าทั่วโลกนั้นช่วยเร่งให้ผู้เดินทางในระหว่างกระบวนการ สมาชิกอาจจะได้รับการเลือกที่จะตรวจสอบเพิ่มเมื่อมีการเดินทางเข้าสหรัฐอเมริกา การละเมิดข้อตกลงและเงื่อนไขของโปรแกรมจะส่งผลที่เหมาะสม และการยกเลิกสิทธิประโยชน์การเป็นสมาชิกของผู้เดินทาง

บริการความมั่นคงชายแดนและศุลกากรมีคำสั่งที่คอยตรวจสอบการเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกาเช่นเดียวกับการบังคับใช้กฎหมายศุลกากร ในขณะเดียวกัน USCBP ได้มีการจัดตั้งคณะกรรมการย่อยขององค์การความร่วมมือทางเศรษฐกิจเอเชียแปซิฟิกซึ่งมีความร่วมมือทางเศรษฐกิจกับประเทศในกลุ่มเอเชียแปซิฟิกที่หลากหลาย ในปัจจุบันนี้ตำแหน่งของเอเปคของสหรัฐอเมริกาเนื่องจากมีการเปลี่ยนจากญี่ปุ่นเป็นสหรัฐอเมริกาในเดือนพฤศจิกายน 2010

บทความนี้คงไม่เป็นที่สับสนในโปรแกรมการเข้าเมืองทั่วโลก ไม่ว่าจะเป็นระบบอิเล็กทรอนิกส์สำหรับอำนาจในการเดินทาง (ESTA) หรือ การขอยกเว้นสิทธิวีซ่า (VWP, ซึ่งโดยตัวเองอาจจะสับสนกับการขอยกเว้นสิทธิ I-601 หรือ I-212) ด้วยความแตกต่างนี้และอาจจะไม่เกี่ยวข้องกัน สำหรับการหาข้อมูลเพิ่มเติมเกี่ยวกับ ESTAและVWP

To view this posting in the English language please see: United States Customs and Border Protection Service

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14th March 2011

For those who are unaware, the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) is responsible for monitoring the ports of entry to the United States of America. For some, it may be possible to receive a sort of pre-approval for expedited admission at the various ports of entry in and around the United States.  To quote directly from the homepage of the website GlobalEntry.gov:

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Though intended for frequent international travelers, there is no minimum number of trips necessary to qualify for the program. Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at select airports.

As noted in the citation above, it may be possible for those who are in the program to enter the United States using an automated kiosk rather than the standard method of entering the USA through a classic immigration checkpoint. In order to better understand this it may be best to quote directly from the “About” page of the website GlobalEntry.gov:

At airports, program participants proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable U.S. passport or permanent resident card, place their fingertips on the scanner for fingerprint verification, and make a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.

Travelers must be pre-approved for the Global Entry program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and interview before enrollment.

While Global Entry’s goal is to speed travelers through the process, members may be selected for further examination when entering the United States. Any violation of the program’s terms and conditions will result in appropriate enforcement action and revocation of the traveler’s membership privileges.

The Customs and Border Protection Service has a broad mandate to monitor the ports of entry to the United States as well as enforcing relevant customs law. Meanwhile, USCBP recently held the chair of a subcommittee of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization, which is dedicated to economic coordination of the various Asia-Pacific countries. Currently, the United States of America chairs APEC since the chair was turned over to the United States from the Japanese in November of 2010.

Those reading this posting should not confuse the global entry program with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) nor the visa waiver program (VWP, which itself should not be confused with the I-601 waiver or the I-212 waiver) as these are different programs and may not be relevant to those seeking information regarding ESTA and the VWP.

For related information please see: USCIS.

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26th December 2010

ผู้เขียนบล็อกนี้ได้รับข้อมูลมาจากการประกาศใช้กฎหมายของกฎระเบียบฉบับสุดท้ายที่เกี่ยวกับวีซ่าประเภท อี สอง สำหรับผู้ที่สนใจจะลงทุนและประกอบธุรกิจในคอมมอนเวลท์ของตอนเหนือของเกาะมารีน่า ข้อความต่อไปนี้อ้างโดยตรงจากเว็บไซต์ที่เป็นทางการของหน่วยบริการพลเมืองและคนเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกา (USCIS):

วอชิงตัน- บริการพลเมืองและคนเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกา (USCIS) ออกร่างกฎระเบียบสุดท้ายในทะเบียนของรัฐบาลกลางซึ่งมีประเภทของวีซ่าผู้ลงทุนประเภทผู้ที่ไม่มีถิ่นฐานถาวรในคอมมอนเวลท์ของตอนเหนือของเกาะมารีน่า วีซ่าลงทุนประเภท อี สอง ซีเอ็นเอ็มไอ (E-2 CNMI)อนุญาตให้นักลงทุนระยะยาวที่เป็นชาวต่างชาติที่จะพักอาศัยในคอมมอนเวลท์ของตอนเหนือของเกาะมารีน่าตลอดเดือนธันวาคม 2014 คำขอของวีซ่าลงทุนประเภท E-2 CNMI Investorจะได้รับการอนุมัติตั้งแต่ 18มกราคม 2011 คำขอที่ได้รับก่อนวันที่ 18 มกราคม 2011 จะได้รับการปฏิเสธ

อาศัยอำนาจตามความมในพระราชบัญญัติทรัพยากรธรรมชาติ (CNRA) ปี 2008 วีซ่าลงทุนประเภท E-2 CNMI นั้นมีอายุ 2 ปี และสามารถต่ออายุใหม่ได้ และสามารถใช้ได้ในคอมมอนเวลท์ในตอนเหนือของเกาะมารีน่าเท่านั้น คู่หมั้นและบุตรของผู้ลงทุนอาจจะยื่นขอวีซ่าโดยใช้สิทธิของผู้ลงทุนได้

สำหรับผู้ที่ไม่คุ้นเคยกับคอมมอนเวลท์ในตอนเหนือของเกาะมารีน่าควรจะระลึกไว้เสมอว่า เขตอำนาจนี้รวบรวมกลุ่มของเขตอำนาจศาลซึ่งใช้ประโยชน์จากกระทรวงความมั่นคงแห่งมาตุภูมิในการที่จะออกกฎและบังคับตามกฎหมายคนเข้าเมือง ในอดีต คอมมอนเวลท์ในตอนเหนือของเกาะมารีน่า (CNMI) ยังคงที่มีสถานะอิสระ แต่กฎระเบียบที่ร่างขึ้นมาใหม่นั้นคล้ายคลึงกับส่วนที่เหลือของสหรัฐอเมริกา

วีซ่าประเภท อี สองนั้นเป็นเอกสารการเดินทางที่มีประโยชน์สำหรับผู้ที่ประสงค์จะเดินทางไปยังสหรัฐอเมริกา (หรือตามตัวอย่างนี้คือคอมมอนเวลท์ของตอนเหนือของเกาะมารีน่า)สำหรับวัตถุประสงค์ทางธุรกิจและการลงทุน อาจกล่าวได้ว่า วีซ่าประเภทอี สองนั้นเป็นประเภทวีซ่าของผู้ที่ไม่มีถิ่นฐานถาวร แตกต่างจากวีซ่าประเภท บี สอง (วีซ่าประเภทท่องเที่ยวสหรัฐอเมริกา) วีซ่าประเภทอี สองนั้นมีสำหรับผู้ที่มีเจตนาสองอย่างในการเป็นเอกสารการเดินทางที่เหมือนกันกับวีซ่าประเภท แอล หนี่ง (L-1) หนึ่งในประโยชน์ของเอกสารการเดินทางประเภทนี้คือผู้สมัครไมว่จำต้องพิสูจน์ข้อสันนิษฐานของเจตนาที่กล่าวไว้ในมาตรา 214บี ตามพระราชบัญญัตขิสัญชาติและคนเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกา

วีซ่าประเภทอี สอง (E-2)นั้นอาจจะเป็นที่สับสนกับวีซ่าประเภท EB-5 วีซ่าของสหรัฐอเมริกาประเภท EB-5เป็นวีซ่านักลงทุนผู้อพยพ ในการที่จะเป็นไปตามกฎหมายคนเข้าเมือง ผู้ยื่นคำของวีซ่าประเภท EB-5 นั้นเกี่ยวข้องกับสถานะของคนเข้าเมืองผู้มีภิ่นฐานถาวรอย่างถูกต้องตามกฎหมาย ควรระลึกว่า ขั้นตอนของวีซ่าประเภท EB-5 สามารถที่จะเริ่มต้นดำเนินการขอกับหน่วยบริการคนเข้าเมืองและพลเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกา(USCIS) นอกจากนี้ผู้ที่กำลังมองหาวีซ่าประเภท EB-5 นั้นต้องอยู่ภายใต้ขั้นตอนของกงสุลที่สถานทูตสหรัฐอเมริกา สถานกงสุลสหรัฐ สถาบันของอเมริกัน หรือภารกิจของสหรัฐอเมริกาด้วยอำนาจทางกงสุลที่อยู่ในเขตอำนาจ ท้ายที่สุดแล้วศุลกากรสหรัฐอเมริกาและหน่วยรักษาดินแดนสหรัฐอเมริกา (USCBP) มีภาระหน้าที่ที่จะตรวจสอบและหาหนทางสำหรับการที่ชาวต่างชาติจะเข้ามายังสหรัฐอเมริกา ตามที่กล่าวมาแล้วข้างต้น จากการที่มีการเข้าเมืองเป็นไปอย่างถูกต้องตามมกฎหมาย ชาวต่างชาติที่อยู่ในสถานะของวีซ่า EB-5 จะได้รับการเป็นผู้มีถิ่นฐานถาวรในสหรัฐอเมริกา

To view this post in English please see: E-2 visa.

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24th August 2010

Those familiar with this blog may recall that new measures have been implemented that can have an effect upon those traveling to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program. The Department of State (DOS) recently released a cable which outlines soon-to-be implemented changes to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). The following is quoted directly from the Department of State Cable as distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

Summary: This cable provides additional information on implementation of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (TPA) and fee collection for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), requests posts to engage in outreach, and provides talking points. End summary.


3. As previously reported (Ref a), President Obama signed the TPA into law on March 4, 2010. The TPA will create a partnership between the U.S. government and the private sector to market the United States as a travel destination for international visitors. Fees collected from international travelers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries, matched by private sector contributions, will fund the Corporation for Travel Promotion. The fees will be collected through the ESTA system, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) administers.


4. On August 6, 2010, DHS announced an interim final rule that amends DHS regulations to require travelers from VWP countries to pay operational and travel promotion fees when applying for ESTA beginning September 8, 2010. The total fee will be $14.00, with $4.00 to recover the cost of administering the ESTA system and $10.00 as mandated in the TPA.


5. The Department is working with DHS and the Department of Commerce to notify foreign and domestic media, the travel industry, and other stakeholders about this change. The Department requests that consular officers in VWP countries, in coordination with DHS and Commerce representatives, meet with host government officials, and airline, tourism, and other stakeholders to inform them of the new fee provisions connected to ESTA. Please contact the ESTA Program Management Office [redacted] for outreach materials or requests for ESTA representatives to travel in-country. They will do their best to accommodate. This cable is being sent as an ALDAC to facilitate all posts answering questions from citizens of VWP countries and the general public.


6. The Department supports the TPA goal of attracting international visitors to the United States. Our greatest diplomatic tool for sharing American values is America itself, and we recognize the critical importance of travel and tourism to our economy and job creation. The Department looks forward to working with the Corporation for Travel Promotion to ensure that prospective visitors to the United States receive comprehensive, up-to-date information on travel documents and requirements for entry.

The Travel Promotion Act mentioned above will likely have significant consequences for those foreign nationals traveling to the United States pursuant to the conditions of the visa waiver program. Therefore, those originating in a country that has visa-free travel privileges to the USA may be wise to research both the US Visa Waiver Program and the ESTA program. Fortunately, the aforementioned cable also included a Frequently Asked Questions Section. The following FAQ’s were quoted from the previously mentioned DOS cable distributed by AILA:

Q. What is the new fee charged to travelers?
A. It is $14.00. Since the implementation of ESTA, DHS has had discretion to charge a fee to cover administrative costs. DHA determined that cost to be $4.00 per registration. The TPA fee adds an additional $10.00.


Q. When will the fee go into effect?
A. ESTA registrations on or after September 8, 2010, will be subject to the fee.


Q. How do travelers pay the fee?
A. At this time, payment is required through the following credit cards: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. Payments can also be made with a debit card that holds the Visa or Mastercard symbol. Please check with your bank on the compatibility of your debit card. We are continuing to explore other payment measures. The ESTA registration form already in use will walk users through the payment process.


Q. What types of privacy protection exist on the website?
A. “Pay.gov” uses advanced encryption to protect transactions while applicants are logged in. When accessing a profile, any account numbers entered will be masked on-screen.


Q. How long are ESTA approvals valid?
A. Each approved ESTA application will be valid for a period of two years unless the traveler’s passport expires sooner. It allows for multiple visits to the United States within that application.


Q. If I have a valid ESTA, will I have to re-register when the new fees go into effect?
A. No, existing ESTA registrations remain valid for travel through their expiration date.


Q. Is ESTA approval like a visa?
A. An ESTA approval is not a visa under U.S. law, nor does it confer the same benefits as a visa.


Q. Will this attract more international visitors to the United States?
A. Oxford Economics, a leading economic forecasting consultancy, estimates that the TPA program will generate $4 billion in new visitor spending, and lead to the creation of 40,000 new jobs.


Q. Why do VWP countries have to fund this travel promotion program through ESTA fees?
A. Some countries fund tourism promotion through airline or hotel taxes. The Travel Promotion Act legislation specified that the U.S. government fund this program through a $10 fee added to ESTA registration.


8. The following are Visa Waiver Program member countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom…

At the time of this writing, the Kingdom of Thailand is not a member of the United States Visa Waiver Program. Therefore, ESTA rules have little impact upon most Thai nationals. That said, as pointed out in previous blog posts, relevant regulations may require those who have been issued a 221g refusal to disclose this refusal as a “visa denial” for purposes of travel to the USA on the Visa Waiver Program. It would seem that at the time of this writing the Department of State and the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP), an agency under the authority of the US Department of Homeland Security, view 221(G) refusals differently. Those who have been issued a 221g who still wish to travel to the United States may be wise to contact a US lawyer in order to deal with a pending 221g refusal.

Those who are from countries that do not participate in the Visa Waiver Program should seek a US visa before traveling to the USA. For information about the US Tourist Visa please see: B2 visa.

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18th August 2010

The United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) is tasked with implementing security policy along the US borders. This organization is also responsible for screening immigrants and entrants on their way in to the United States of America (as defined by the United States Immigration and Nationality Act). Recently, an announcement was released which noted that USCBP is testing new technologies in an effort to provide further security along the border and at Ports of Entry to the United States. To quote the aforementioned publication directly:

As part of its Multi-Modal Biometrics Projects, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are investigating iris recognition as a promising biometric modality that may become suitable to support DHS operations in the near future…

Iris scanning has been discussed in the past in connection with identity verification technology. It would seem that until recently this technology was not available for widespread use due to testing and cost considerations. Also, the technology is relatively young and, as a result, there has been little time to examine all of the ramifications of this technology:

This project is managed by the DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, co-sponsored by the National Programs and Protection Directorate, US-VISIT Program and leverages the joint expertise of DHS, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. Naval Academy. Iris recognition is a promising biometric modality that may become suitable to support DHS operations in the future. However, iris recognition has not been systematically and extensively evaluated outside of carefully controlled environments (i.e., in laboratories). The purpose of this evaluation of iris recognition technologies is to conduct field trials/studies of iris camera prototypes under conditions and environments of relevance (e.g., humidity levels, amount of sunlight, etc) to DHS operational users to assess the viability of the technology and its potential operational effectiveness in support of DHS operations.

In a way, this Iris technology has a great deal in common with identity identification through fingerprinting. In the future, some believe that eye scanning technology will be widely used in order to increase security at certain facilities. Furthermore, there are some who believe that Iris scanning, or technology similar thereto, will be used as a means of identification for quick cross referencing in various government databases. The aforementioned report went on to further note:

The iris is a muscle that forms the colored portion of the eye. It regulates the size of the pupil, controlling the amount of light that enters the eye. Although the coloration and structure of the iris is genetically linked, the details of the iris structure are not. Iris imaging requires use of a high quality digital camera that illuminates the iris using near-infrared light and takes a photograph without causing harm or discomfort to the individual. The prototype cameras in this evaluation are designed to capture iris images for different operational scenarios (e.g., standing in front of a mounted or handheld camera or walking near a camera while walking through a portal).
S&T and US-VISIT are working with the DHS Customs and Border Protection (CBP)/ Office of Border Patrol to develop a concept of operations (ConOps) to describe how the technology may be tested to support its existing operational missions.

It will likely take a relatively substantial period of time before this technology is used widely. That said, the implications of such technology could be very significant from both a privacy standpoint as well as a practical standpoint. In a final excerpt from the above cited publication:

Once identified by the DHS team, the iris camera prototypes will be provided to the U.S. Border Patrol agents. The iris camera prototype includes sensors such as floor-mounted pressure sensors, beam break sensors, motion sensors, and simple cameras. This system works by electronically capturing the iris images of individuals that are placed in front of the camera…

Although consumer use of iris scanning technology may not be the norm in the near term, there are those who believe that USCBP will have this technology at their disposal soon. Hopefully this new technology will provide increased security in a legal and non-obtrusive manner.

For related information please see: expedited removal

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