Are You Still Eligible to Travel under the Visa Waiver Program

Are You Still Eligible to Travel under the Visa Waiver Program?

Imagine arriving at the airport to travel to America to negotiate an agreement with a rewarding US business. Touchdown this contract will produce a great deal of profit for your ECU organization. you’ve taken the important precautions to make sure an easy trip: arrived early in your flight, confirmed the electronic gadget for tour Authorization (“ESTA”) utility you made remaining yr continues to be legitimate, and e-book your resort and car apartment inside the USA properly earlier. But, when you get to the check-in counter, the flight agent begins questioning a latest commercial enterprise trip you took to the Middle East. After a chunk of discussion, the agent apologises and informs you that you aren’t able to board the flight, and are now not eligible to travel beneath the Visa Waiver software. In the surprise, you have to now return to your property, doubtlessly lose out on enterprise within the US, and cope with the technique of obtaining a US visa.

Why can you no longer be eligible to travel underneath the Visa Waiver program?

Alas, the above situation is becoming increasingly more not unusual. If you have carried out for ESTA after February 2016, you could have noticed the addition of some of the questions about the application. As an instance, it now asks the applicant to claim whether they’re now, or were a citizen or country wide of any other united states. The significant majority of people touring to America on the Visa Waiver program were in all likelihood unaware of any adjustments to the program, as the ESTA application is currently legitimate for two years.

Accordingly, citizens of Visa Waiver program nations who have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen on or after 1 March 2011 are not eligible to journey to America visa-free. Further, residents who are a dual country wide of Visa Waiver software united states of America and Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen, also are no longer eligible to tour visa free. There are limited exceptions for the ones present in one of the specified countries for an army or diplomatic motives.

Who does this Act affect?

On its face, the most obvious institution laid low with this new Act are the ones who have travelled to one of the indexed nations given that 1 March 2011. However, an excellent extra quantity of folks that are also twin nationals may be restrained from applying underneath ESTA due to the new guidelines. As an immigration legal professional, clients regularly tell us they’re not a national of a country honestly due to the fact they do not keep a legitimate passport for that USA it’s far important to observe that a passport is only a journey record. At the same time as a valid passport can sincerely be used for proof of citizenship, citizenship isn’t misplaced because the file is expired or damaged.

Citizenship of any given United States of America depends on that USA’s guidelines and guidelines. For example, a few countries do no longer permit twin nationality, and immediately revoke citizenship for nationals who’ve obtained a 2d citizenship. As an alternative, different international locations require a formal system of renunciation before you’re no longer taken into consideration to be a citizen. In the most intense cases, a country may additionally in no way help you renounce your citizenship, and will don’t forget you to be countrywide for lifestyles.

Before making use of for ESTA, you should be clear whether or now not you are a twin citizen of one of the above-cited nations. For example, Mohamed turned into born in Libya to Libyan dad and mom. Whilst he turned into a baby his parents moved his own family from Tripoli to Palermo, Italy. Mohamed maintained his Libyan nationality for the duration of his formative years, and when he grew to become eighteen-years-antique he was naturalized as an Italian citizen. He did now not resign Libyan citizenship. He now desires to tour to the USA below the Visa Waiver software on his Italian passport. Mohamed is not eligible to journey visa-free because he’s still taken into consideration to be a national of Libya.

An extra difficult scenario to decide could be the following – Amira changed into born in Bagdad, Iraq. Her dad and mom, each national of Iraq, fearing persecution, fled to the United Kingdom whilst she becomes an infant. Her entire family acquired United Kingdom nationality whilst Amira changed into six years antique. She has now not been to Iraq considering that her own family left, and she does not keep any ties to the United States – inclusive of a valid Iraqi passport. Amira, now thirty, wishes to travel to the USA to take her children to Disney world. She is unsure if she could be accredited on ESTA.

Sadly, this situation is tough to analyze. Amira does not understand if she remains considered to be a national of Iraq. without any formal renunciation or due manner regarding her Iraqi citizenship, she likely continues to be taken into consideration to be a national of Iraq – regardless of now not having a passport from the country. If Amira is, in fact, a dual national of the United Kingdom and Iraq, and she or he does not divulge this on her ESTA application, she may be located to have misrepresented herself. Misrepresentation is a critical offence, which renders an overseas national completely inadmissible to go into the US. As a precaution, Amira needs to reap the right visa earlier than visiting America.

What’s the subsequent step?

if you are not eligible to travel beneath the Visa Waiver program, either due to the fact you have got visited one of the listed countries on or after 1 March 2011, or you’re a dual countrywide of a Visa Waiver country and one of the nations listed, you have to reap the relevant US visa before travelling. if you wish to journey to the USA for tourism, the B2 visa would be an appropriate alternative to traveling under the Visa Waiver program.

at the same time as it could be disappointing to now not be eligible to apply for ESTA, obtaining a B2 visa offers many blessings. A B2 visa is normally issued for a period of ten years – allowing its holder to tour the US frequently within that length, without having to apply for a brand new visa. Moreover, when you input America on a B2 visa, the immigration officer will stamp your access for up to 6 months. It’s far crucial to observe that because the visa is valid for ten years, it does not assist you to stay in the US for that time period. You must spend no greater than six months out of each calendar year inside the US on a B2 visa.

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