April 2, 2009

US immigration insanity

If you travel as a European to the United States, you always had to fill out the green immigration form. The immigration form contains such reasonable questions about your collaboration with the Nazi Germany or if you plan doing terrorist attacks or if you are committed to do immoral actions - clever questions :-) Effective 2009, USA introduced the new Electronic System for Travel Authorization  (ESTA). The basic idea of ESTA is that you have to register in advance over the internet. The ESTA application is basically the electronic version of the green from. You might think that ESTA replace the green from (hurray, no more need for filling out the form while travelling on the plane)...but NO...you are still required to fill out the green form on paper in addition to ESTA. US bureaucracy rocks! The bad thing about ESTA is its terrible implementation. The internet application looks like a bad pile of forms as of the early 90s. In addition it mixes up English and German messages and shows German error message using entities (someone for to use structure: ?). So if you travel to US: keep your travel plan ready - you must tell the destination address to your airline, print it on the green form and ESTA wants to know if you are a terrorist some days in advance...I really love US :-)