On December 18, 2015, Congress placed new restrictions on usage of the US Visa Waiver Program (“Terrorist Travel Prevention and Visa Waiver Program Reform”).
New visa waiver restrictions include: Dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan, and individuals who have traveled to one of those countries since March 1, 2011, can no longer use the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Rather, they should obtain a B-1 or B-2 visitor visa at a US consulate abroad well in advance of travel to the US. On February 18, 2016, DHS added Libya, Somalia, and Yemen to the list of “countries of concern.” This precludes individuals who have traveled to Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 1, 2011, from using the VWP. However, VWP travel restrictions do not apply to dual nationals of Libya, Somalia or Yemen at this time.
On February 28, 2014, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced the designation of Chile into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), thereby streamlining travel to the United States for eligible Chilean passport holders. more »
On October 2, 2012, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitan announced the designation of Taiwan into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), thus streamlining travel for thousands of eligible Taiwan passport holders. As of November 1, 2012, eligible Taiwan passport holders will be able to visit the US without visas. more »
On January 19, 2012, the White House unveiled new initiatives to promote the US as a premier destination for international travelers by improving the US visa and travel processes. These advances have allowed US DOS to issue more than 7.5 million visas in the last fiscal year, a 17% year-on-year increase. The US Visa Pilot Program, which seeks to improve US visa processing, begins January 19, 2012, and ends two years after that on January 19, 2014. more »
On September 08, 2010, a new ESTA application fee of $14 will take effect for travelers to the US coming from Visa Waiver countries. ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) applications and approvals are required for travelers from Visa Waiver countries who are not required to have a US visa. more »