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


Imagine arriving at the airport to discuss the trip to the USA, a lucrative contract with the U.S. business. Landing this contract will produce a lot of profit for their European companies. They took the necessary precautions to ensure a smooth trip: arrived early for a flight confirms the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”) the app from last year remains in force, book hotel and car rentals in the United States, much in advance. However, if you to the front of the check-in agent relevant business journey that you took, begins with an interrogation in the middle East. After a short discussion, the operator apologizes and tells you what is on Board, and no longer have the right to travel under the visa waiver program. In shock, you must now go back to her house might lose business in the United States, and to deal with the process of obtaining US visas.

Why you can no longer have the right to travel under the visa waiver program?

Unfortunately, the above scenario is increasingly common. If you have an ESTA, said in February 2016, she may be requested, in addition to a number of questions in the app. For example, the applicant now requests to explain whether they are, or citizen or national of another country was. The vast majority of people travelling to the USA under the visa waiver program, apparently, was not aware of any changes in the program, as this app is currently valid for two years.

Accordingly, the citizen of visa waiver program countries, who traveled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen, or after 1. In March 2011, no longer have the right to travel to the USA visa free. Other citizens, dual national of one country’s visa Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, also no longer has the right to travel without a visa. There are limited exceptions for everyone in one of these countries for military or diplomatic reasons.

Who is affected by this law?

On its face, a characteristic group with this new law, those who traveled refers to one of these countries, starting with 1. In March of 2011. However, an even greater number of individuals who are also dual citizens may be restricted by the application under ESTA, due to new regulations. As an immigration lawyer, clients often don’t tell us that they are a citizen of a country just because you maintain a valid passport for the country. It is important to note that the passport is only one travel document. While a valid foreign passport cannot be used safely, for the proof of citizenship, citizenship lost because the document is expired or damaged.

The citizenship of any country depends on country and regulations. For example, some States allow dual citizenship, and once against the States call for citizenship for citizens who received a second citizenship. Alternatively, other States no longer require a formal process of renunciation before being as a citizen. In the most extreme cases, a country may allow that you check them to renounce citizenship, and it will be the national life.

To apply for ESTA, you should be clear whether or not you are dual-citizens of one of the above countries. For example, Mohamed, born in Libya, to Libyan parents. When he was a child, his parents moved his family from Tripoli, Palermo, Italy. Mohamed retained his Libyan citizenship during his childhood, and when he was eighteen years old, he was naturalized as an Italian citizen. He’s not Libyan to renounce citizenship. He now wants to visit the US under the visa waiver program on your Italian passport. Mohamed has the right to travel, visa-free, because it is still considered a national of Libya.

Define a complex scenario would be the following – Amira, was born in Baghdad, Iraq. Her parents, both citizens of Iraq fled for fear of persecution to the United Kingdom when she was a child. Your entire family can get British citizenship if Amira was six years old. Was not in Iraq, so as to leave his family and not to maintain any relations in the country – including a valid Iraqi passport. Amira, now thirty, want to take a trip to United States to your kids disney. He’s not sure whether they will be approved for ESTA.

Unfortunately, in this case, it is difficult to analyze. Amira I don’t know if they are more than a citizen of Iraq. Without a formal resignation, or procedures for Iraqi citizenship, you will likely continue as the national Iraq – although not with a passport from the country. If Amira really is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and Iraq, and not to publish it on my ESTA-application, I found myself wrong. Cheating is a serious offence, which makes the entry of a foreign citizen permanently enter the United States. As a precaution, Amira correct visa you must obtain before traveling to the United States.

What is the next step?

If you no longer have the right to travel under the visa waiver program, or because you visited one of the countries listed here, or after 1. In March 2011, or are you two from the national visa-free country and one of the listed countries, you must obtain the appropriate visas before you travel. If you want to travel to the U.S. for tourism, a B2 visa would be a suitable alternative to travel with the VWP.

Although it can be frustrating to be not more right, to the ESTA application, to obtain the B2 visa has many advantages. B2 visa is issued usually for a period of ten years – so that the owner to travel to the US to apply during this period regularly without a new visa. Also, if you are stamping in USA with B2 visa, immigration officer your record for up to six months. It is important to note that, as the visa is valid for ten years, will not allow you to remain in the US during this period. You should not spend more than six months in a calendar year in the U.S. the B2 visa.


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