Been to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria?

By | Category: Travel news

Visual-Graphics-USA-Flag-Wallpaper-01-1024x512For those travelling to the US there have been some recent changes that you might want to consider before booking holidays or business trips there.

From January 21, travellers who currently have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTAs) and who have previously indicated holding dual nationality with one of the four countries on their ESTA applications will have their current ESTAs revoked. The countries concerned are Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria.

Under the new law, the Homeland Security department may waive these restrictions if it determines that such a waiver is “in the law enforcement or national security interests of the US.”

It suggests that waivers might apply to individuals who travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on behalf of an international organisation or a humanitarian non-government organisation (like a charity) on official duty, or as a journalist for reporting purposes.

Travellers who receive notification that they are no longer eligible to travel will be required to appear for an interview and obtain a visa in their passports at a US embassy or consulate before traveling to the US.

For those affected, the authorities say its embassies were ready to speed up applications for anyone affected by the changes who needs a US visa for urgent business, medical, or humanitarian travel to the US. The new rules, which apply to all countries in the waiver programme, don’t apply to those who visited any of the countries for diplomatic or military reasons.

It recommends that current ESTA holders are encouraged to check their ESTA status prior to travel on CBP’s website at esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Further information on visa applications can be found at travel.state.gov.

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