US enforces new visa waiver rules

Washington, Jan 22 (IANS) The United States started implementing changes to the US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) for citizens of 38 foreign countries.

Starting from Thursday, nationals of the VWP partner countries are required to get a visa ahead of their trip to the US if they “have travelled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011,” said a statement by the US state department.

Limited exceptions exist for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country, Xinhua reported.

In addition, nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of the above mentioned four countries are no longer eligible for the VWP programme.

Despite the new restrictions, the US secretary of homeland security may still “waive these restrictions” on a “case-by-case basis” for individuals who travelled to the four countries as journalists, or on behalf of humanitarian agencies on official duty, or on behalf of international organisations, regional organisations and provincial or local governments, or for legitimate business-related purposes, according to the statement.

The VWP currently permits visa free travel for 20 million visitors each year to the US for citizens of 38 programme partner countries.

After the Paris terrorist attacks on November 13, 2015, which killed at least 130 people and injured over 300 others, US lawmakers and government officials worried that the current VWP, which allows citizens from partner countries to enter the US for as long as 90 days without a visa, could pose a security threat to homeland security.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here