You Can Czech Out Any Time You Like, But …

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Paul Wilson e-mails this bit this bit of terrific news for all Czechs, bad news for some Americans:

When the Czech Republic enters the Schengen zone on December 21, it will bring in an era of passport-free travel for Czechs abroad. But not everyone is looking forward to the change. Entry to the Schengen zone could spell trouble for the sizeable number of Americans who have, up until now, been living and working in Prague without a visa.

Up until now, it was possible for Americans to live in the Czech Republic without a visa. It maybe wasn't all that kosher, but required nothing more than a trip to one of the Czech Republic's neighbours, like Germany or Austria, to get a stamp in the passport every 90 days. […]

But things are about to get more complicated: as of December 21 visa-less US citizens will only be allowed to remain in the Czech Republic, or any other part of the Schengen area, for a maximum of 90 days over any six-month period. Living here without a visa will no longer be an option for American citizens.

And what's more, anyone wishing to apply for a visa will have to do so outside of the Schengen zone. The closest consulates will be in Kiev, Bucharest or Zurich.

In the early 1990s American YAPs at first would be conscious of touching the nearby German border every three months, but then quickly realized that the government was too busy with other tasks to give a shit about whether the North American hippies were following the letter of immigration law (including, if memory serves, some absurd requirement to spend like $80 a day).

As a result, not only was I an illegal immigrant for five years, but an illegal immigrant who employed plenty of other illegal immigrants for as little as $100 a month. If we had been Mexicans running a Spanish-language paper full of "illegals" in the modern-day U.S., we'd have been deportable criminals eligible for a 10-year "do not entry" stamp.

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  1. I spent a week in Communist Prague when I was a young pup. I have always wanted to go back there and see how different it is now.

    At the age of twelve, I could not imagine a more dismal place to spend a week. Now it’s supposed to be a total party town.

  2. Now it’s supposed to be a total party town.

    Whatever you do, if you’re there and see or catch word of a “hen party,” run like the wind….

  3. “As a result, not only was I an illegal immigrant for five years, but an illegal immigrant who employed”

    hrumph.

    *looks at legit Czech work permit to work at IKEM hospital… hrumph.*
    Prukaz o povoleni k pobytu cizince
    Pobyt povolen od
    05.09.1994
    Platny do
    31.07.1995

  4. Whatever you do, if you’re there and see or catch word of a “hen party,” run like the wind….

    Towards or from?

  5. Ukon?ete pros?m v?stup a n?stup, dve?e se zav?raj?.

  6. Whatever you do, if you’re there and see or catch word of a “hen party,” run like the wind…

    Am I to take this to mean that not all the girls in CZ are super hot sluts who, 5 minutes after meeting you (or Rocco Siffredi), will let you bang them in the ass?

  7. Am I to take this to mean that not all the girls in CZ are super hot sluts who, 5 minutes after meeting you (or Rocco Siffredi), will let you bang them in the ass?

    The reference was to weekending Brits.

  8. The reference was to weekending Brits.

    That’s not even remotely as fun, Matt “pornkiller” Welch.

  9. Am I to take this to mean that not all the girls in CZ are super hot sluts who, 5 minutes after meeting you (or Rocco Siffredi), will let you bang them in the ass?

    Cock-a-doodle-doo

  10. Matt, since it was apparently not exactly “kosher” before the change, do you think there’s any chance Czech authorities will simply continue to be too busy to worry about visa-less Americans?

  11. Took-r-jebs!

  12. czech lone wacko – awesome!

  13. do you think there’s any chance Czech authorities will simply continue to be too busy to worry about visa-less Americans?

    Some chance, maybe, but my money’s on Yanks-R-hosed. Czechs have complained bitterly — and with great reason — about U.S. visa policy toward Czech citizens over the past 18 years. These things tend to be reciprocal, which Americans rarely even register when contemplating the latest idiotic requirement on foreigners entering our shores.

  14. You Can Czech Out Any Time You Like, But …

    Matt,
    Did the Reason blogging staff get together some Friday night circa 2005 and make a giant list of potential Hit and Run post headlines? and now you just wait for an appropriate story to use them on?

  15. SPOCK: Captain, our star maps aren’t very good, but I estimate that we are near the frontier between the Schengen Zone and the Romulan Sector.

    KIRK: Are there any super-hot sluts on the nearby planets?

    SPOCK: That is very droll, Captain.

  16. Did the Reason blogging staff get together some Friday night circa 2005 and make a giant list of potential Hit and Run post headlines? and now you just wait for an appropriate story to use them on?

    No, but that’s a swell idea.

  17. I could not imagine a more dismal place to spend a week.

    I felt the same way on a visit to East Berlin in 1986.

  18. These things tend to be reciprocal, which Americans rarely even register when contemplating the latest idiotic requirement on foreigners entering our shores.

    We hold the truth to be self-evident that our country is superior to others, and that their inferiority warrants our wariness of their sliminess. But why would they want to keep our golden light off their soil?

  19. The reference was to weekending Brits.

    They can’t possibly be worse than American bachelorette parties, which are up and down my street every freaking Saturday night.

  20. Did the Reason blogging staff get together some Friday night circa 2005 and make a giant list of potential Hit and Run post headlines? and now you just wait for an appropriate story to use them on?

    Warren, I think you might be on to something – and that Friday in 2005 was probably August 12 – the date of Jesse Walker’s famous “How Much Is That Dodgy Innuendo?” headline – perhaps the greatest headline in H&R history.

    Interestingly it prompted the very same question:

    metalgrid | August 12, 2005, 12:10pm | #
    Do you guys have a list of snazzy headliners that you try to correlate to articles? If so, this one is definitely in the top 10.

    But then I see that you commented in that thread as well, so maybe that’s what you were thinking of with your question?

  21. Mad Max:

    I LOLed ’til I feared I’d stroke out.

    Seitz:

    Can, and will. Seriously. Brits are like oversized locusts. Anecdote – I had my high school graduation trip to Faliraki on Rhodes, which is full of Austrians and Brits every year around the start of summer.

    We Austrians behaved like the Huns (NPI), so much that I won’t even describe it; let’s say we carried ourselves with all the restraint and respect of a Dutch colonial master towards the locals. Nothing I’m proud of, but I was 18 and needed the booze.

    Anyway: The Brits there made the Greek love us, with our utterly boorish behaviour and all. I wouldn’t wish British tourists in force on an enemy. These guys where bad enough to make residents on the end of town where they stayed leave for the summer.

  22. I wouldn’t wish British tourists in force on an enemy.

    I have heard this from other Europeans. They said the worst tourists were Brits and Germans (I don’t know if they included Austrians). Completely and totally out of control.

  23. …we carried ourselves with all the restraint and respect of a Dutch colonial master towards the locals.

    That’s terrific imagery. I can’t wait for a chance to use that some time.

  24. Episiarch: They at least shouldn’t include Austrians with Germans to the Austrians’ faces. 😉

    Also, insert obligatory “always invading countries” joke <here>.

  25. Hey, but have you been thinking if we, Czechs can live in States? Or at least travel there without visas?
    You should get rid of your stupid visa policies before making complaints of our policy..

    Anyway, Prague is worth more than drinking & f*cking party making..

  26. It’s not as bad as it seems; the Republic of Ireland and the UK are both non-members of the Schengen area, and if you need to apply for a visa it’s fairly easy and cheap to catch an EasyJet/Ryanair flight to Dublin or London (which is why Prague is so full of drunken Brits).

  27. Hey, but have you been thinking if we, Czechs can live in States? Or at least travel there without visas?
    You should get rid of your stupid visa policies before making complaints of our policy..

    I think most folks here criticizing the new Czech visa policy also disagree with U.S. policy on that issue.

    Anyway, Prague is worth more than drinking & f*cking party making..

    Undoubtedly. But those two things certainly don’t hurt the tourist trade.

  28. Bernd –

    we can tell the austrians because they’ve got their Wolfgang Ambros (oder: Reinhard Fendrich – besser: Ostbahn Kurti) on and occasionally yell,”i wead’ narrisch” but still lose to the Faeroe Islands…

    or – you just hide the Almdudler from the Piefkes, and voila, they head home 🙂

    [ducks]

    reads crossword puzzle clue

    “Kleines, r?uberisches Bergvolk – mit zehn Buchstaben”

    [heiter, ohne zu verletzen]

  29. I was trying for an IllegalAmericans joke, but none came out.

  30. Hey, but have you been thinking if we, Czechs can live in States? Or at least travel there without visas?
    You should get rid of your stupid visa policies before making complaints of our policy..

    VFisa, I think your irritation is misdirected. And yes, many of us have thought a great deal about the problems faced by those who want to come to the US. If you spent a little time around here and read what has been written you’d realize that most the people who write for, and comment on, this site would agree with you that our visa policies are indeed stupid. Had you, for example, read the comments above you’d have seen the author of the post, Matt Welch, say this:

    Czechs have complained bitterly — and with great reason — about U.S. visa policy toward Czech citizens over the past 18 years. These things tend to be reciprocal, which Americans rarely even register when contemplating the latest idiotic requirement on foreigners entering our shores.

    (emphasis added)

  31. I could not imagine a more dismal place to spend a week.

    Judging by that photo of Matt, can I assume that it’s because you could expect frequent flooding?

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