US Congress modifies Visa Waiver Program

04-02-2016

The United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP) has allowed millions of citizens of European and other countries to travel to the US, and to remain there for as long as 90 days without requiring a visa, provided that they meet certain requirements. The recent terrorist attacks in Europe, as well as the presence of Western foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, have reignited debate in Congress over US domestic security. While recognising the importance of the VWP for transatlantic relations, Congress stressed the need to prevent terrorists from exploiting potential vulnerabilities in the programme. This has prompted Congress to modify the VWP to require certain travellers, previously exempt, to apply for a visa in order to enter the US.

The United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP) has allowed millions of citizens of European and other countries to travel to the US, and to remain there for as long as 90 days without requiring a visa, provided that they meet certain requirements. The recent terrorist attacks in Europe, as well as the presence of Western foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, have reignited debate in Congress over US domestic security. While recognising the importance of the VWP for transatlantic relations, Congress stressed the need to prevent terrorists from exploiting potential vulnerabilities in the programme. This has prompted Congress to modify the VWP to require certain travellers, previously exempt, to apply for a visa in order to enter the US.