Thursday, December 23, 2010

My kind of engineering

Vientiane, Laos. October 2010


AlanL said...

I was just filling a visa application for an upcoming business trip, and was asked to list all countries visited in the last ten years. I imagine you would need to write "see attached backup sheet" - or just send in an atlas?

Michael said...

When I applied for British citizenship several years back, I was asked to list all time spent outside the UK in the previous five years, and to give dates. (The point of this was that if I had spent too long outside the UK, I would not have been "resident" for the purposes of the application. Looking at passport stamps, airline e-tickets etc, I was actually able to come up with a complete list. I needed to attach two backup sheets, if I recall correctly.

A few years before that, I was offered a government job in Australia that required a security clearance. This asked me to list all time spent overseas, including dates, cities, and names of hotels. I can't imagine I could have managed that, and I am intrigued as to what would have happened had I only managed to give half the details.

I have heard people suggest that one reason why the CIA is not as effective an intelligence agency as one might hope is precisely because it becomes hard to get the appropriate security clearance if you have done a lot of travel. People who have done a lot of travel are more likely to understand foreign countries, but these days they tend not to be hired.

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