US tightens visa rules for visitors from West Asia

In a bid o keep IS supporters out, the US has tightened its visa-waiver programme for nationals of certain countries, making it harder for them to enter America if they had dual citizenship’s of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria or visited one of them in the last five years. Citizens of the 38 countries, which are part of the visa-waiver programme, would no longer be able to get an automatic entry into the United States if they have visited these four countries – Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria – after March 2011, the state department said. The state department said any traveler who receives notification that they are no longer eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) are still eligible to travel to the US with a valid non-immigrant visa issued by a US embassy or consulate.

“Such travelers 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 United States,” the state department said. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the goal here is to tighten the screening measures that were in place for those individuals that had recently traveled to countries that were the state sponsor of terrorism. “We want to make sure that we are doing everything that is necessary to keep the country safe. That is the top priority. But we also don’t want to unnecessarily disadvantage American businesses overseas, because ultimately that’s good for our economy, it’s good for creating jobs here in the United States,” he said in response to a question.

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