On Monday, the US will no longer require Czech citizens to apply for a visa prior to travel. Interior Minister Ivan Langer and deputy premier Alexander Vondra are set to be among the first to make use of the change in status, according to newspaper reports – even though their diplomatic statues does not require them to possess a visa. From Monday, the requirements for Czechs to enter the US will be the possession of a biometric passport, as well as the filling on of an online form known as ESTA. Approval by the ESTA system would then permit Czech citizens unlimited entry to the US for two years – something which critics describe as a de facto visa system, although proponents point out that the end of long waits at the US embassy are a key advantage of this scheme. Mr Langer and Mr Vondra are set to be onboard the first “non-visa flight” which departs for New York on Monday.
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