Following our post last month, Year End Brings Major Changes to the US Visa Waiver Program, we notify our readers of further travel restrictions recently announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Continuing its implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (Act), the DHS is now limiting Visa Waiver Program (VWP) entry to the United States for certain individuals who have traveled to Libya, Somalia, and Yemen at any time on or after March 1, 2011.
Last month, the DHS began implementing changes to the VWP by imposing restrictions for certain individuals who are dual nationals of Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan and individuals who have been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan at any time on or after March 1, 2011. Beginning January 21, 2016, travelers who currently have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and who have previously indicated holding dual nationality with one of the four countries listed above on their ESTA applications will have their current ESTA revoked.
Pursuant to the Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security had sixty days to determine whether additional countries or areas of concern should be subject to the travel or dual nationality restrictions under the Act. Per this recent announcement, the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined that Libya, Somalia, and Yemen be included as countries of concern. At this time, the restriction on Visa Waiver Program travel will not apply to dual nationals of these three countries.
As the impact of these changes play out over the next several weeks and months, we will continue to update our readers.