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DHS and DOS Begin Implementing Visa Waiver Program Changes


The United States has begun implementing the recently announced Visa Waiver Program changes.



Accordingly, travelers in the following categories will no longer be eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):



These individuals will be required to appear for a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and obtain a U.S. visa before traveling to the United States.



Travelers who currently have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTAs) and who have previously indicated holding dual nationality with Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on their ESTA applications will have their current ESTAs revoked. Current ESTA holders must check their ESTA status on the CBP’s website prior to travel.



Waiver of Restrictions



The above visa waiver restrictions may be waived by the Secretary of Homeland Security on a case-by-case basis.



Categories of travelers who may be eligible for a waiver include:

  • Individuals who traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on behalf of international organizations, regional organizations, sub-national governments, or a humanitarian NGO on official duty or as a journalist for reporting purposes;
  • Individuals who traveled to Iran for legitimate business-related purposes following July 2015 Iran nuclear deal;
  • Individuals who have traveled to Iraq for legitimate business-related purposes.




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