From: Spehro Pefhany
Subject: Re: Gone travelling....I´m deleting my web site...
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Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 17:30:44 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 12:30:44 EST
On Fri, 17 Jan 2003 15:53:32 GMT, the renowned Jim Thompson
>Probably a bad choice of words on my part. I really meant places
>where you feel you have no civil rights. For example, going through
>Australian customs makes you feel that way... fortunately the rest of
>the country makes up for that.
I'm always *very* conscious of which side of a border I'm on.
Before an alien is admitted to Oz, Canada, AND the USofA, he has
almost no rights, almost no recourse if the agent decides you are
an undesirable, likely to work illegally in the country etc. etc.
There are reportedly something like 700 different reasons for keeping
someone out of the US, for example. Have a look at that form that
everyone but Canadians has to fill out to visit the US, for example,
I-94W, I think, very intrusive.
I've actually wondered if the slight inconvenience at borders isn't
more indicative of how attractive and free a place is. Places like
China don't have to be as fussy seeing as there is an information
gathering network within the country that follows your moves, at least
theoretically (I doubt they actually bother unless you commit a
serious crime). But they do send your passport information from your
hotel to the local Public Security Bureau. They do require passports
for flights, but not trains or buses, so they can't really follow you
easily. It not legal (but not uncommon either) to stay with friends
etc. without your hosts informing the authorities. In smaller places,
the watchful eyes of the old biddies on the neighborhood committees
could rat you out. Very clever system- using old women to gossip for
official purposes. Plus, setting up a company and hiring people is
bound to attract official attention and paperwork ("Red" tape).
And us big-noses stand out.
>And then there's Canadian customs ;-) I'm always a "tourist" in
>Canada now. *Never, never, never* make the mistake and say the
>purpose of your visit is to "conduct a design review"! Nasty old
>bitch, big enough that she could bounce even me off the ceiling, then
>asks, "Are you *working* in our country" ?:-)
Yeah, the US guys at Toronto's airport can be surly too. In your case,
there's no reason to stretch the truth, you should be entitled to
NAFTA TN status as a degreed engineer, (and it works reciprocally,
BTW, for the other two NAFTA countries) . You probably wouldn't have
all the supporting documentation unless you planned for it though,
so it's still best to be polite unless yer ducks are in a row.
In practice, for a short visit, mentioning you are an *engineer* and
proof of residency (eg. Arizona driver's license) usually ends the
questioning because of the preferred status. Or say you're there to
meet and the work will be done in the US (which is usually the truth
I'd imagine). IANAL, not legal advice. ;-) They are just clerks who
need the right answers to fill out their checklists.
Mobility for work purposes is still rather limited, especially between
civilized countries. It's worse for freelancers as opposed to
employees of large companies, because they look similar to people just
looking for a job. There are other issues too. One lady who worked
for us can't get her daughter in because the poor kid has a heart
problem and it will cost $200-300K to fix it properly, which of course
would have to be paid by the taxpayers. She can always try to have it
fixed in the Philippines, which ought to resolve the problem one way
or the other. 8-(
"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
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