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A Look at the 38 Countries in the USA’s Visa Programme

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US flag By Sean Winters via Flickr

When it comes to the USA visa waiver program, only 38 member countries are included in the list that allows citizens to apply for a visa waiver when they’re travelling to the USA for business or tourism purposes. Travellers are only allowed to come for 90-days consecutively, but the ESTA visa is valid for two years before a reapplication is needed.

What Does The Visa Waiver Program Do?

The visa waiver program, also known as an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), allows citizens of certain countries from a select 38 depicted by the Department of Home Security, to enter the USA without having to go through the lengthy process of obtaining a visa. The visa waiver program is a much easier, and more efficient way to travel to the USA, for business or tourism purposes, and offers an alternative to the long interview-based process of travelling to the USA. The process was introduced by the Department for Homeland Security in 2008 as a way to secure travel to citizens and increase their own security. It helps filter out people from the authorisation process that do not meet the required security standards, but some countries have preference over others, for security reasons.

Which Countries Are Member Countries?

The member countries of the USA visa waiver program include many from Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Taiwan, Brunei, South Korea, Japan and Singapore. The European countries that are included in the list are Andorra, France, Austria, the United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, San Marino, the Republic of Malta, Germany, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Greece, Luxembourg, Hungary, Denmark, Slovenia, Monaco, Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Portugal, Switzerland, Latvia, Finland, Slovakia and Belgium. These countries are deemed to be safer and are allowed entry to the USA with just a US ESTA visa waiver, rather than having to go through the entire visa process. Not only does this speed things up for the security in the USA, although an ESTA does not guarantee entry at the USA port of entry, it will allow visitors into the country as long as they get through the security checks on the other side.

The Difference Between A Visa Waiver & A Full Visa

The ESTA visa waiver is not a full visa, and it is to be used only for a traveller. A true visa, depending on which type, will allow a person to either travel, reside or work in the USA. However, the visa waiver can only be used for someone looking to travel for just 90 days in the country, rather than working and living there. Those who already hold a valid US visa will not need to apply for an ESTA, even when they leave the United States for as long as their visa is valid. Children will also need a valid ESTA as well as adults, or a visitor visa depending on whether they are a citizen of a member state or not. The border officers will have the information whether or not you have an ESTA visa when you arrive in the US and if you do not, then you may not gain entry to the country – unless you already have a true visa.

 

 

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Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green

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A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:

  • They arranged a carpool with their friends.
  • They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
  • They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
  • My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.

My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.

Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm

People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.

How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:

There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.

People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before

Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.

One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:

“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”

Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative

Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.

Cost and Simplicity

A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.

Green Weddings Are the Future

Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.

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Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?

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Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.

Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.

Fulfilling a Genuine Need

Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.

Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.

After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.

Creating Opportunities

Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.

Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.

Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.

A Fundamental Foresight

Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.

However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.

They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.

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