US to tighten its visa waiver program

December 01, 2015
The Obama administration is tightening the regulations and adding latest screening needs to its visa waiver program that permits the nationals from 38 countries which also includes Australia traveling to the US without a visa.

The White House is working with the lawmakers who are set to propose the changes to the program, which will now let visa free travel for around 20 million individuals visiting the US.

US to tighten its visa waiver program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is changing the travel consent applications to confine the information from the travelers. The State Department and the DHS are being told to prepare the report on any of the 38 nations now part of this program that hasn’t been completely put in place the data needs and screening for the travelers.

According to the Deputy National Security Adviser, White House, Ben Rhodes,  the modifications are designed for countering the risk that the radicalized the Europeans who had traveled to the hot spots can turn back home and then visit the US.  The US wants to make sure that it has tight scrutiny in place and better sharing of the information.

Many of the participating nations are in Europe and the program grants the travelers from those countries visa free entry to the US for the stay period of three months or less.

Senators are recommending the measures for tightening the waiver program. And the goal is to take a look at the five possible changes in the visa waiver program of the US  and enforce it before the year ends.

According to a Senator, the potential changes includes the requiring participating nations to provide the electronic passports which contains the biometric data, requiring them to screen the passengers against the stolen or lost passports and share the information, and making the assessments of the US  of high risk nations on the yearly basis instead of every two years.

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