DHS adds Libya, Somalia and Yemen to Visa Waiver Program Travel Restrictions
The Department of Homeland Security announced additional “countries of concern” under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (the “Act”). Individuals who have traveled to Libya, Somalia, or Yemen since March 1, 2011 are now ineligible to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. At this time, the restriction on Visa Waiver Program travel will not apply to dual nationals of these three countries. Individuals impacted will not be banned from traveling to the U.S., but will be required to apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
For those who need a U.S. visa for urgent business, medical, or humanitarian travel to the U.S., embassies and consulates stand ready to provide visa interview appointments on an expedited basis. The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will release an updated Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application in the spring of 2016 with additional questions on travel to Libya, Somalia, and Yemen to address exceptions for diplomatic and military related travel provided for in the Act.
The three additional countries join Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria as countries subject to restrictions for Visa Waiver Program travel.