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Re: Cousins Visiting US Shelves

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  • Paul Guzowski
    Ron and Caye... Read your comments with interest and thought I might finally add my two hellers to this thread and apologize in advance for a longish post.
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 9, 2007
      Ron and Caye...

      Read your comments with interest and thought I might finally add my two
      hellers to this thread and apologize in advance for a longish post. Let
      me say up front that while Americans may not need a visa to visit
      Slovakia as a tourist, they may be required on arrival to demonstrate
      financial ability to support themselves while here as well as provide
      proof of medical insurance valid in Slovakia. One acquaintance had to
      buy medical insurance here to cover the length of his stay. Also,
      Americans traveling here without a visa may not stay more than 90 days
      total in any six month period. To stay longer requires a temporary
      residence permit which, I can say from personal experience, is a pain to
      obtain and not cheap either.

      That said, Caye, I hope your cousin carefully considers the risk she
      takes if she decides to stay in the US beyond the term of her tourist
      visa. I have no statistics readily at hand but do know personally of
      three cases, one each from Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary, that ended in
      tearful disaster.

      Once couple had been in the US for a year, were working (prohibited on a
      tourist visa), and had even bought a townhouse. They were deported 30
      days after it came to light they had overstayed a tourist visa and did
      not have work permits.

      The second involved a young man who overstayed his tourist visa and
      moved around the US eventually ending up in Hawaii. He was picked up by
      police who were investigating some other case and when his status was
      determined he was deported with what he was wearing on his back and $20
      in his pocket.

      The third case involved a young man who did not overstay his visa, but
      worked in the US on a part-time basis when he was there. Five years
      later, when applying in his home country for a green card to work in the
      US, he honestly answered questions on the application, including that he
      had worked shortly in the US while there before. He and his new wife
      are highly educated and were great candidates for approval but his
      application was denied.

      In the first two cases, the people will never be able to obtain a visa
      to the US again. In the third case, absent compelling evidence why the
      young man had to work in the US, it is unlikely he will be granted a
      green card and may not even be able to visit again.

      Every case likes those mentioned above provide ammunition for those in
      the US opposed to removing visa restrictions for those newly independent
      and new NATO/EU member countries in central and eastern Europe. Those
      who abuse the privilege of traveling to the US hurt the chances of their
      countrymen and women.

      On the subject of stores, availability of products, and living
      conditions, in general, I can only speak for Hungary, Lithuania, and
      Lithuania where I have lived and worked for almost six years. Today,
      when you walk into a hypermarket (like Tesco, Carrefour, or Hypernova in
      Slovakia), you'd think you had walked into a Super Wal Mart. The
      shelves and racks are full of goods with many choices, many of them the
      same ones we have in the US. Admittedly, these kinds of stores are
      available only in the bigger cities but smaller versions are available
      in larger towns.

      As far as groceries go, I am an avid cook and have yet to look for
      something I couldn't find. True, some things may be a little harder to
      find (peanut butter and ginger ale are two examples) and the selection
      may not be as wide as it is in the US. Things like canned pumpkin pie
      filling that are peculiar to our cuisine or diet may not be readily
      available but you can get all the ingredients to make a pumpkin pie for
      Thanksgiving. What you won't find, and it can be a little trying at
      times, is over-the-counter medications like aspirin or cough medicine in
      a grocery or drug store. You have to go to a pharmacy for that.

      Clothes and electronic goods are more expensive here than in the US
      because there is less competition, more government price control, and
      19% value added tax.

      So, in my experience, there is far less difference today than ever
      before in the availability of similar goods in stores in the US and
      Europe. That said, there are things you will only find in the shops
      here that will surely be missed by anyone moving permanently to the US.
      One only needs to watch the posts to this forum requesting where to find
      this and that or a substitute for it in the US.

      OK, now that I've posted my opinion I'll exit the fray. I do enjoy
      reading the messages posted and am happy to discuss any of this offline
      with anyone. Thanks.

      Paul in Bratislava
      Homebase in Carlisle, PA.
    • Paul Guzowski
      OOPsss.... I should have said I could only speak for Hungary, Lithuania, and Slovakia where I have lived and worked for nearly six years now. Sorry, Paul in
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 9, 2007
        OOPsss.... I should have said I could only speak for Hungary, Lithuania,
        and Slovakia where I have lived and worked for nearly six years now.

        Sorry,

        Paul in Bratislava
        Homebase in Carlisle, PA
      • Frank R. Plichta
        Paul, The issue of proving medical insurance and financial support may be another myth. I have traveled to Slovakia and the Czech republics on three occasions:
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 9, 2007
          Paul,



          The issue of proving medical insurance and financial support may be another
          myth.



          I have traveled to Slovakia and the Czech republics on three occasions:
          July 1984 (Communists still in power), August 1996 and lastly in March 2006.
          I had heard the stories of needing proof of medical insurance and also, for
          the first visit, of having a certain amount of money to enter the country.



          In my experience, no one ever asked me for such proof.

          Has anyone ever had to demonstrate availability of medical insurance or
          financial independence?



          Frank Plichta

          Galax, Virginia



          _____

          From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com] On
          Behalf Of Paul Guzowski
          Sent: Monday, July 09, 2007 4:54 AM
          To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [SPAM] [S-R] Re: Cousins Visiting US Shelves



          Ron and Caye...

          Read your comments with interest and thought I might finally add my two
          hellers to this thread and apologize in advance for a longish post. Let
          me say up front that while Americans may not need a visa to visit
          Slovakia as a tourist, they may be required on arrival to demonstrate
          financial ability to support themselves while here as well as provide
          proof of medical insurance valid in Slovakia. One acquaintance had to
          buy medical insurance here to cover the length of his stay. Also,
          Americans traveling here without a visa may not stay more than 90 days
          total in any six month period. To stay longer requires a temporary
          residence permit which, I can say from personal experience, is a pain to
          obtain and not cheap either.
          ---snip---
          Paul in Bratislava
          Homebase in Carlisle, PA.



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Caye Caswick
          Hey Paul, thanks for the post. My cousin is here on a Student Visa -- specifically for work -- summer only. She s got a SSN too. She ll go back, but she does
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 9, 2007
            Hey Paul, thanks for the post. My cousin is here on a
            Student Visa -- specifically for work -- summer only.
            She's got a SSN too.

            She'll go back, but she does love it enough here to
            actually think about a permanent deal down the road --
            we'll see if that happens.


            Caye


            --- Paul Guzowski <pauguz@...> wrote:

            > Ron and Caye...
            >
            > Read your comments with interest and thought I might
            > finally add my two
            > hellers to this thread and apologize in advance for
            > a longish post. Let
            > me say up front that while Americans may not need a
            > visa to visit
            > Slovakia as a tourist, they may be required on
            > arrival to demonstrate
            > financial ability to support themselves while here
            > as well as provide
            > proof of medical insurance valid in Slovakia. One
            > acquaintance had to
            > buy medical insurance here to cover the length of
            > his stay. Also,
            > Americans traveling here without a visa may not stay
            > more than 90 days
            > total in any six month period. To stay longer
            > requires a temporary
            > residence permit which, I can say from personal
            > experience, is a pain to
            > obtain and not cheap either.
            >
            > That said, Caye, I hope your cousin carefully
            > considers the risk she
            > takes if she decides to stay in the US beyond the
            > term of her tourist
            > visa. I have no statistics readily at hand but do
            > know personally of
            > three cases, one each from Slovakia, Poland, and
            > Hungary, that ended in
            > tearful disaster.
            >
            > Once couple had been in the US for a year, were
            > working (prohibited on a
            > tourist visa), and had even bought a townhouse.
            > They were deported 30
            > days after it came to light they had overstayed a
            > tourist visa and did
            > not have work permits.
            >
            > The second involved a young man who overstayed his
            > tourist visa and
            > moved around the US eventually ending up in Hawaii.
            > He was picked up by
            > police who were investigating some other case and
            > when his status was
            > determined he was deported with what he was wearing
            > on his back and $20
            > in his pocket.
            >
            > The third case involved a young man who did not
            > overstay his visa, but
            > worked in the US on a part-time basis when he was
            > there. Five years
            > later, when applying in his home country for a green
            > card to work in the
            > US, he honestly answered questions on the
            > application, including that he
            > had worked shortly in the US while there before. He
            > and his new wife
            > are highly educated and were great candidates for
            > approval but his
            > application was denied.
            >
            > In the first two cases, the people will never be
            > able to obtain a visa
            > to the US again. In the third case, absent
            > compelling evidence why the
            > young man had to work in the US, it is unlikely he
            > will be granted a
            > green card and may not even be able to visit again.
            >
            > Every case likes those mentioned above provide
            > ammunition for those in
            > the US opposed to removing visa restrictions for
            > those newly independent
            > and new NATO/EU member countries in central and
            > eastern Europe. Those
            > who abuse the privilege of traveling to the US hurt
            > the chances of their
            > countrymen and women.
            >
            > On the subject of stores, availability of products,
            > and living
            > conditions, in general, I can only speak for
            > Hungary, Lithuania, and
            > Lithuania where I have lived and worked for almost
            > six years. Today,
            > when you walk into a hypermarket (like Tesco,
            > Carrefour, or Hypernova in
            > Slovakia), you'd think you had walked into a Super
            > Wal Mart. The
            > shelves and racks are full of goods with many
            > choices, many of them the
            > same ones we have in the US. Admittedly, these
            > kinds of stores are
            > available only in the bigger cities but smaller
            > versions are available
            > in larger towns.
            >
            > As far as groceries go, I am an avid cook and have
            > yet to look for
            > something I couldn't find. True, some things may be
            > a little harder to
            > find (peanut butter and ginger ale are two examples)
            > and the selection
            > may not be as wide as it is in the US. Things like
            > canned pumpkin pie
            > filling that are peculiar to our cuisine or diet may
            > not be readily
            > available but you can get all the ingredients to
            > make a pumpkin pie for
            > Thanksgiving. What you won't find, and it can be a
            > little trying at
            > times, is over-the-counter medications like aspirin
            > or cough medicine in
            > a grocery or drug store. You have to go to a
            > pharmacy for that.
            >
            > Clothes and electronic goods are more expensive here
            > than in the US
            > because there is less competition, more government
            > price control, and
            > 19% value added tax.
            >
            > So, in my experience, there is far less difference
            > today than ever
            > before in the availability of similar goods in
            > stores in the US and
            > Europe. That said, there are things you will only
            > find in the shops
            > here that will surely be missed by anyone moving
            > permanently to the US.
            > One only needs to watch the posts to this forum
            > requesting where to find
            > this and that or a substitute for it in the US.
            >
            > OK, now that I've posted my opinion I'll exit the
            > fray. I do enjoy
            > reading the messages posted and am happy to discuss
            > any of this offline
            > with anyone. Thanks.
            >
            > Paul in Bratislava
            > Homebase in Carlisle, PA.
            >
            >




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          • maureen
            I have traveled to Slovakia twice. Both times we entered by car - no questions about health insurance. The second visit in 2003 presented a medical issue - not
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 10, 2007
              I have traveled to Slovakia twice. Both times we entered by car - no questions about health insurance. The second visit in 2003 presented a medical issue - not for insurance, but for the need of medical treatment. My daughter and I were in Kosice, scheduled to fly out the next morning at or before the crack of dawn. The night before we were to leave my daughter became extremely ill, with uncontrollable, non-stop vomiting.

              In the middle of the night I went to the desk at the Slovan (a wonderful hotel - at least as of 2003) and asked for help. They called Czech Air and got our flights rescheduled for the following day and by 8:00 am the bellman was at the door to walk us - carry my daughter, if necessary - around the corner to a doctor's office.

              Without a word of common language spoken between us, the doctor thoroughly assessed her condition, gave her an injection and a prescription. The entire cost was something less than $10 USD - and the word "insurance" was never uttered!

              When we left the exam room, the bellman was waiting for us and escorted my daughter back to our room, while I went to the pharmacy for the script. Throughout the day and evening, the Slovan staff checked on us, sending tea and soup and water.

              These were somewhat exceptional circumstances - but, the helpfulness and concern of all the Slovaks in this instance was no exception.

              If you have never done so, visit Slovakia; if you have gone before, go back. I eagerly look forward to my next visit.

              Maureen Mckovich Pulignano
              www.deefalt.com

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Jan Ammann
              Hello maureen .... Thank you for that wonderful story. It just goes to show that most people are kind and helpful everywhere when there is illness or some
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 11, 2007
                Hello maureen ....

                Thank you for that wonderful story. It just goes to show that "most people are kind and helpful everywhere" when there is illness or some type of distress.

                Thanks again for sharing..................

                Jan




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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