Law Offices of Sweta Khandelwal
Let Us Help Solve Your Issue: 408-604-0774
Email Us

Changes may be in-store for the Visa Waiver Program

the-tourist-1479443-208x320.jpg

Travelers from certain countries who to come to the U.S. may enter without obtaining a visa. This process is called the Visa Waiver Program because in certain situations when traveling to the U.S. for a short period of time the visa requirement is waived. The Visa Waiver Program applies to citizens and nationals of 38participating countries. However, after the Paris attacks that occurred last monthU.S. legislators are considering tightening up the Visa Waiver Program. The proposed changes could make it more difficult for some to visit the U.S. It is likely that the ease of travel for those currently covered by the Visa Waiver Program will change and now many may be required to undergo stricter security checks before traveling to the U.S.

What is the Visa Waiver Program?

The Visa Waiver Program allows visitors who are citizens or nationals of 38 participating countries to come visit the U.S. for up to 90 days for tourism or business. The 38 participating countries include Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom amongst others. Those who come to the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program are generally also permitted to travel to Canada, Mexico or nearby islands and be readmitted to theU.S. Although the program attracts tourists because of the ease traveling without acquiring additional documentation, there is a strict 90 day stay and visitors may not overstay the 90 days.

What are the proposed changes?

Congressmen have suggested some reforms to the Visa Waiver Program and these proposals could be incorporated into a bill that may be voted on in Congress. Oneproposal is increased information sharing between the U.S. and countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. Visitors may be required to submit fingerprints and photographs before traveling to the U.S. Those coming from Syriaor Iraq could face even stricter requirements, which may include anyone who traveled to either of those countries in the past 5 years. Electronic passports may also be part of the changes. To pay for the increased security measures, the price of the visa waiver could be increased from the current price of $14.

These restrictions have been suggested after the Paris attacks because the alleged perpetrators were French and Belgium nationals. French and Belgium are two ofthe 38 countries that are eligible for a visa waiver. Those driving the visa waiver changes argue that as the visa waiver program currently stands, the attacks could have easily happened in the U.S. if the attackers chose to come to the U.S. and easily entered on a visa waiver. While the Visa Waiver Program has increased tourism and utilized by many for easy travel to the U.S., the recent attacks at home and abroad could impose additional barriers for those who use the Visa Waiver Program to travel to the U.S.

Contact Us

To discuss the visa waiver program, other visa options or any other immigration issue contact the Law Offices of Sweta Khandelwal. Attorney Khandelwal has over 10years experience in immigration law. The Law Firm of Sweta Khandelwal can assist with business and family immigration matters.

Cited Sources:
Visa Waiver Program, U.S. Department of State

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Rated By Super Lawyers
  • 2014 Top 40 Lawyer under 40 | ASLA
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 superb immigration
  • Avvo client's choice 2014 | Immigration
  • People Love us on yelp
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association | AILA
  • The state Bar of California
Email Us For A Response

Our team is here to help with
your immigration matters

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
I would like to discuss an immigration matter regarding:
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Office Location:

San Jose Office
95 S Market Street
3rd Floor
San Jose, CA 95113

Phone: 408-604-0774
Fax: 408-624-4527
San Jose Law Office Map

San Francisco Office
404 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Phone: 408-604-0774
Phone: 415-944-3858
Fax: 408-624-4527
Map & Directions

Map Map