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Bizzy Bulletin April 2016

Apr 11, 2016

U.S Visa Waiver Update

There have been some recent changes so please ensure you’re up to date on the latest restrictions.


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What is the U.S Visa Waiver Programme

Travellers seeking to enter the United States for business or tourism for less than 90 days may be eligible to travel to the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) if they meet specific requirements.

The VWP cannot be used if your purpose of travel is to study for credit, employment, work as foreign press, radio, film, journalists, or other information media, or take up permanent residence.

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When with the VWP not apply?

You won’t qualify for entry to the USA under the VWP, and will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate, if:

  • You have a British passport that describes your nationality as something other than ‘British Citizen’
  • Your passport has been extended by 12 months under exceptional measures
  • Your passport doesn’t include certain security features
  • You’ve been arrested for certain crimes, even if it didn’t result in a criminal conviction
  • You’re a dual national of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria*
  • You’ve travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria since March 2011*

*certain excemptions can apply on a case-by-case basis



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What’s new this year?

From the 1st of this month, all travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP need to hold a passport with an integrated chip (an ePassport). British passports issued since October 2006 are ePassports and carry an internationally recognised symbol on the front cover. Any traveller carrying a passport issued prior to 2006 will require a visa to enter the U.S as of 1st April this year.

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For more information

If you’re in any doubt about whether you qualify for the VWP, or if you’re concerned that an existing visa may have been cancelled due to the new rules, you can contact your dedicated account manager for more information.

Alternatively, you can click here for more details about the VWP and here for more information on ePassports.

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