- Levasseur, Elise S.
- Industry Alerts
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun the process of implementing changes to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) after President Obama signed into law the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. The new law made significant changes to the VWP for citizens of participating countries in response to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and in San Bernadino, California. DHS has not yet announced exactly how it will implement the program.
Under the VWP, nationals from 38 participating countries can travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a B-1/B-2 visa if they are cleared through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.
The new law prohibits these same foreign nationals from entering the U.S. under the VWP if the foreign national has visited since March 1, 2011, or has dual nationality with countries identified in the new law as countries of concern (currently only Syria, Sudan, Iran and Iraq, but the DHS has the authority to designate additional countries). The only exception to the rule is for travel to the countries of concern to perform military duty for the VWP-country, or to conduct duties as a full-time employee of a VWP-country government. A person who is a dual citizen of a VWP country and a country of concern or a VWP-country national who has traveled to a country of concern since March 1, 2011 must obtain a B-1/B-2 visa prior to traveling to the U.S.
The new law also adds new, more stringent passport requirements to qualify for the VWP. By April 1, 2016, all VWP travelers (including infants and children) must present an e-Passport that is machine readable and contains an electronic chip. The electronic chip stores biometric data, digital signatures and a chip ID, among other information. Those without an e-Passport after the effective date will need to obtain a B-1/B-2 visa to travel to the U.S.
DW Immigration: Global Mobility with a Personal Touch!
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Elise S. Levasseur is a Member in Dickinson Wright’s Troy office. She can be reached at 248.433.7520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like a printable version of this immigration client alert, please click here.
- January 2019 Industry Alerts January 2 Marks the Comment Deadline on the USCIS Proposed Changes to the H-1B Visa Lottery Process – Now What?
- November 29, 2018 In the News Attorney Kathleen Campbell Walker Leads AILA Discussion on "The Ins and Outs of Lawful Admission"
- November 27, 2018 In the News Attorney Elissa Pinto to Speak about Immigration Topics at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business
- October 12, 2018 Media Mentions Lawyer Kathleen Campbell Walker Quoted in Law 360 Article “TN Visas Survive Trade Deal, But Challenges May Remain”
- October 12, 2018 Industry Alerts UPDATE: US Issues New Guidance for Canadian Travelers Involved in Legal Cannabis Industry
- October 2018 Industry Alerts USMCA –All Quiet on the Immigration Front
- September 26 & 28, 2018 Seminars Attorney Elissa Pinto to Speak at EB-5 Investment Program Seminars in Brazil
- September 20, 2018 In the News Business Immigration Attorney Elissa Noujaim Pinto Joins Dickinson Wright's Troy Office
- July 26, 2018 Media Mentions Lawyer Kathleen Campbell Walker Quoted in the Society for Human Resource Management Article “How Can HR Handle Intentional I-9 Immigration Violations?”