US begins tightening visa requirements after terror attacks

22nd Jan 2016
US begins tightening visa requirements after terror attacks
WASHINGTON (AA): The Obama administration announced Thursday that it has begun to enforce changes to the U.S. visa waiver program following deadly terror attacks at home and in Europe.

The new restrictions affect citizens of Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria – preventing dual nationals from participating in a visa waiver program that 38 countries are party to.

Those travelers will have to attend an interview and receive a visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate before departing.

In addition, nationals of visa waiver countries who have traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on or after March 1, 2011, will have to receive a visa to enter the U.S.

“The new law does not ban travel to the United States, or admission into the United States, and the great majority of VWP travelers will not be affected by the legislation,” the State Department said in a statement, using the U.S. government’s acronym for the visa waiver program.

NGO workers, government officials, journalists, and business professionals who have traveled to Iran following the July signing of an international nuclear accord, and those who have traveled to Iraq for business, can receive a waiver on a “case-by-case” basis, the department said.

Dual nationals are not currently eligible for a waiver, but the State Department said it is examining whether to extend the measures.

Congress passed the new regulations as part of a budget deal that was struck in mid December just weeks after two assailants opened fire outside of Los Angeles, fatally wounding 14 victims and seriously injuring 22 others.

The announcement that the U.S. would enact the new regulations comes two days after BBC journalist Rana Rahimpour, a 33 year-old dual British-Iranian national, was prevented from traveling to the U.S.

Shortly after the incident, a State Department spokesman said that the U.S. had begun a “phased implementation” of the new program, but stressed that the U.S. “has not yet begun denying any of these applications”.

 

Author Michael Hernandez
[Photo: US Embassy in London. Photographer: Veedar at English Wikipedia/Creative Commons]

Leave a Comment

What is 6 + 4 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets