Starting Friday, December 15, 2017, the Trump administration’s tighter rules for the Visa Waiver Program will go into effect. The Program affects 38 countries who citizens are permitted to travel without visas to the United States, including its closest political and military “allies” such as Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
The three new grounds of scrutiny include:
- The countries must screen all travelers entering their country against databases provided by the U.S. of known terrorists and others who may pose a national security threat.
- The U.S. will assess the safeguards used by each country against “insider threats” at their airports.
- The U.S. will require that no more than 2% of travelers from each country end up staying in the U.S. past the expiration date of their visa.
The last requirement refers to “visa overstays”, which represent roughly 40% of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Countries whose visitors exceed the 2% threshold of overstays will be required to conduct public information campaigns to raise awareness of the consequences of overstays. Using 2016 data, this third requirement currently affects Hungary, Greece, Portugal and San Marino.
For more information contact Banerjee & Associates