- 28 countries don't need a visa to visit the US (including Canada, Japan and most of Europe)
- osamu visit "Travel Authorization Web Site" at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ and do what they tell you in advance
- glandium: this is true only if you have a "biometric passport". You still need a visa if your passport is not new enough.
- Many Mexicans have visas valid for 10 years - don't need permission for each trip (and if they don't, getting it by proving they come to the country for a conference is not too hard)
- Many countries (e.g. Argentina, Brazil, Russia) can get a visa within a month
- Similar hassle to get a visa to get into the EU (DC3 in Oslo, DC5 in Finland, DC7 in Scotland)
- Most of the people coming just to attend the conference are specifically non-immigrants
- madduck: while this is surely a personal issue, your country doesn't permit some visitors to fly in.
- _hc unfortunately, basically all countries ban some people from coming in. That's the advantage moving DebConf every year. If the US really didn't let people in, NYC's population would be half of what it is today; half of the population of NYC was born outside of the US.
- damog: most of the people coming to DebConf would only have to identify themselves, I don't think there's anyone in Debian that would be blacklisted by the US gov't
- madduck: I am blacklisted.
- Jimmy: If you are referring to being ineligible for the Visa Waiver Program, as would be the case if you were ever denied access to the US, then this is not the same as being blacklisted. What it would mean is you'd need to apply for a visa. For Switzerland people who apply for a tourist or business visa (notice this EXCLUDES people who are admitted under the Visa Waiver Program so is mostly those in your situation), 93% of applications were approved in fiscal year 2006. You could still probably come.
- madduck: I am blacklisted.
- Every country in which Debconf has been held to date has represented a visa/entrance issue for some attendees, and this is likely to always be the case.
 Actual data
-  has actual tourist and business visa refusal rates for fiscal year 2006. A few examples:
- Brazil's was 13.2%; 86.6% of Brazilian applicants were approved
- Argentina's was even lower, 6.7%; 93.3% of applicants were approved
- Most nationals of Switzerland and other Visa Waiver Program countries are able to enter without a visa; of those from Switzerland who were not allowed to do that and needed a visa for some reason, the refusal rate was 7.0%; 93% of applicants were approved
- By comparison, according to , Canada (a non-controversial DebConf host country) approves just over 80% of visas needed to visit Canada temporarily every year since 1983.
 Border issues
- US Customs search authority - probably similar in many other countries, just less publicized
- madduck: I claim that no country of the EU can seize your laptop on entry without a court order. 
- _hc but in most EU countries police can seize your laptops without a court order while you are in the country [Citation Needed]. 6 of one, half dozen of another
- damog: There are policies in countries where the DebConf has been held with just the same regulation and nothing has happened on this regard
- Sklyarov's eBook cracking software was sold from US servers - it was not the US forcing its law on Russians
- It is always a PITA to get through security checkpoints, not only in the US
- madduck: it is a major difference to go through security in countries like Switzerland and Germany than in more paranoid ones, like the UK. I have horrific memories of US security queues, requiring people to show up 3-4 hours before at the airport.
- Jimmy: The security checkpoints have gotten a lot better in the US recently. On my way to DebConf8, I got through security in EWR in under 10 minutes, and the official recommendation from the airline was to arrive at the airport 1.5 hours in advance of departure at peak times, or less at other times, even for an international flight. They did not screen citizens separately from foreigners on the way out of the US. Example for JFK: 
- _hc I travel a lot, and I am based in NYC. I have never heard of these kinds of problems at JFK. I have had consistently worse experiences in places like Heathrow.
- damog: I go in and out the US quite frequently lately, and I usually show up at JFK three hours before departure but only because I just hate the crowds and I hate to stress out unnecessarily. However, I have even found myself showing up to an international flight up to 50 mins before departure and I still could make it without any hassle.
 US Election
- The next US government, which will take office starting in January 2009, is likely to be far friendlier to foreign tourists than that of George W. Bush.
- madduck: it will still take years to undo the damage.
- The border issues will likely not get much worse by 2010 and will probably get slightly better, though not all the way back to before Bush's time in office.
- madduck: visitors will still be fingerprinted for many years to come.