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Trump Administration Issues New Rules on Visa Waiver Program

By December 21, 2017March 19th, 2021Immigration Law Changes &  New Law, Visa Waivers
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On December 15, 2017, the Trump administration announced stricter screening and security measures at airports in Britain, Japan, and the 36 other countries participating in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. The Visa Waiver Program was originally passed in 1986 with the aim of facilitating tourism and short-term business visits to the United States. Under this program, citizens of a visa waived country can visit the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining a tourist or business visa.

In the 30 years since its inception, the program has seen many stricter changes whereby all travelers have to first authenticated by the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and cannot have traveled to various middle eastern countries since 2011. Under the new rules, visa waiver countries will have to begin using U.S. information on suspected terrorists and criminals to screen travelers entering their countries from elsewhere. The rules will also require airports that send travelers to the U.S. to effectively screen their own employees to keep out suspected terrorists. The Department of Homeland Security claims that travelers probably will not notice any immediate changes under the new standards. The new rules are a part of the reaction to the two recent attacks on New York by immigrants, where President Trump has also called to end the visa lottery program and family reunification.

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