Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act
Important New Restrictions For Visa Waiver Program Announced
The Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 was officially established as a law on December 18th, just before congress went on holiday. As a result, the Visa Waiver Program now has additional restrictions that affect a portion of applicants who previously met Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and other visa requirements.
Changes in the Waiver Program and Terrorist Travel Prevention Focus On Iraq, Iran, Syria and Sudan
New restrictions deal with recent attempts to stem terrorist activity, which the U.S. government believes more likely from visa waiver program applicants who hail from, or have visited, specific Middle Eastern and African countries. According to the U.S. Department of State website, the new regulations restrict the following people:
- Nationals of countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program “who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1st.”
- Nationals of the above four countries who are nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries.
While this affects a relatively limited number of people applying for the program, getting around this obstacle will certainly affect the plans of those who happen to get caught in these new restrictions.
Exceptions and Solutions
These new changes do not apply to anyone who visited Iraq, Iran, Syria or Sudan to perform military service or diplomatic duties on behalf of Visa Waiver Program countries. Further exemptions exist but remain somewhat opaque as further announcements about the program are pending.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection stress for all travellers to review their ESTA before purchasing tickets or travelling to United States territory. If your ESTA is revoked because of the 2015 act, you may still be able to enter the country.
If travelling to the U.S. for pressing issues such including humanitarian, medical and business purposes, the best course of action will be to contact a local U.S. Embassy and Consulate. Depending on your case, they may be able to hasten the visa application process in order to meet important travel deadlines.
Otherwise, if you happen to fall under the new restrictions, you likely will not be able to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program, requiring that you obtain a visa through other options.
Are You Interested in Immigrating to the US?
If so, Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals and consultants who work for Niren and Associates an award winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.
Have a Question related to your Immigration Needs?
Click here to fill out the FREE Immigration Assessment form below and get a response within 24 hours to see if you’re eligible.
The assessment form should take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. We will get back to you within one business day to let you know if we are able to help.
The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly. If you post on this blog, you assume full responsibility for disclosing your identity to the public and VisaPlace nor its affiliates are not responsible for protecting your privacy nor your identity concerning your participation in our blog and you assume any risks in participating.
Migrating is a hard task for anyone. Finding a job is even harder. Once I got a job offer, things started moving rapidly. So, I called used VisaPlace (Niren and associates) to assist with the process. Rania and Richard deserve the utmost respect in getting the job done. They have been patient with me and some set backs. Very professional.! Hands down, money was well spent. Thanks Rania and Richard, you make an awesome team. You'll definitely have a repeat customer with me !! I was very impressed at how well they were organized and had a positive experience. Very good and professional work led to a successful outcome. I highly recommend using VisaPlace.
I'll like to say I had an awesome initial consultation with Rania Abboud. She was knowledgeable, made the initial process easy and understood my situation. I am excited and hopeful to continue consulting this company. You do a great job for immigrants. Also, Natalie Walcz was great, she handled my situation professionally. Great team. Definitely assets to your company.
Completely smooth process. Rania did a great job in my Canada work permit. The team is absolutely competent and knowledgeable. Alicea was so amazing and was able to answer any of my questions immediately. I had peace of mind throughout the application. I would recommend them to other friends looking for assistance with their applications.