US to tighten Visa waiver after Paris attacks

The US has been increasing security and intensifying the policies under which foreign visitors can travel to the US without a full visa.

The US is tightening its visa waiver policy after the Paris attacks

The US is tightening its visa waiver policy after the Paris attacks Image by Sarah Rose / CC BY 2.0

The visa waiver programme, which allows up to 20 million people from 38 different countries in and out of the US for up to three months without requesting a visa, has come under serious scrutiny in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Lawmakers have submitted a revised list to Congress, which would see all countries having to supply an e-passport in an attempt to help filter out stolen passports.

The increased checks would also monitor whether visitors have visited militant-held areas. The proposed changes would also see airlines fined for failing to verify passport data. Currently under the visa waiver programme, visitors can stay in the country for up to 90 days without a visa. The concern comes in part from the fact that both France and Belgium are among the designated countries.

The Department of Homeland Security has also asked Congress for additional powers according to the BBC. White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said in a statement in Paris, that tightened security and restrictions would "enhance our ability to thwart terrorist attempts to travel on lost or stolen passports."

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