US tighten security measures on visa waiver countries

August 07, 2015

The US government on Thursday has announced tightened security measures for the visitors from the list of 38 countries in the US visa waiver program including the European nations which have seen the number of its nationals travelling across to fight for the militant groups in Iraq and Syria.

The new measures would mandate the requirement of electronic passports or paper passports along with the chip containing the biometric information about the person, and also there is a significant expansion of the US air marshal presence on the international flights, said the DHS (Department of Homeland Security).

US announces security measures on visa waiver countries

Some US lawmakers have also been urging for the tighter measures on the participating countries of US immigration program suggesting to allow the visitors into the US for a stay of 90 days or less without a visa.

According to the US intelligence assessment, in February, the foreign fighters greater than 20,000 including a minimum of 3,400 Westerners have travelled to the countries of Syria and Iraq since 2011.

Most of the western fighters are coming from the countries of France, Belgium and Britain. All three countries are the participants of US visa waiver program.

“The current global threat environment requires that we know more about those who travel to the United States. This includes those from countries for which we do not require a visa," said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in a statement while announcing the new changes.

It also said that the changes are based on the measures taken in the last year requiring additional information of the visa applicants before entering the USA.
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