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ASEAN visa to curb terrorism


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members have agreed to adopt a common visa similar to the Shengen visa being issued by the European countries by 2005. The visa liberalization was adopted during the recent ASEAN Plus Three tourism summit in Cambodia. During the meeting, members discussed the travel advisories being issued by developed countries against them and the sharing of security information to prevent terrorist attacks. Philippine Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon said the association members agreed to demand that developed nations should follow certain rules in issuing travel advisories against countries in the region.

Green cards for SEA refugees
Hundreds of Southeast Asian refugees in the Bay Area in San Francisco, US, whose immigration status has been in limbo for at least a decade, may now apply to become permanent residents under a new immigration program. A number of Vietnamese residents have flocked recently to local post offices in San Jose to be among the first to mail their applications to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for one of the 5,000 green cards that the government will issue in the next three years.

The refugees were among those who fled war in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos since 1988. However, unlike other refugees, they were not required to wait in refugee camps abroad before being allowed into the US. They were granted temporary status and, for more than a decade, have lived in the US without passports or the facility to travel outside the US without INS' permission.

Sources: ABS-CBN News, "Common ASEAN visa seen to curb terrorism," 2 February 2003; Jessie Mangaliman, "Green cards for 5,000 refugees set," San Jose Mercury News, 10 February 2003


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Last Modified: 19 September, 2011

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