The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed legislation aimed at strengthening the visa waiver programme in the aftermath of attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.

United States Votes to Bolster Visa Waiver Programme

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The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed legislation aimed at strengthening the visa waiver programme in the aftermath of attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.

The legislation would prevent any foreign national who has visited Iraq, Iran, Syria or the Sudan in the past five years from entering the U.S. without a visa.

The change applies to citizens of the 38 countries that currently participate in the visa waiver programme. The programme allows citizens of those countries, which includes Pacific Rim countries like Australia and Japan, to visit the U.S. for 90 days without a visa.

Mike McCormick, Executive Director and COO of the Global Business Travel Association, this week came out strongly in favour of the Visa Waiver Programme in a blog post, calling it “one of America’s most important and effective security programmes”.

The new Visa Waiver Programme also contains provisions to make it easier for the U.S. to remove countries from the programme if they do not cooperate with law enforcement and the intelligence community.

The legislation is likely to become law by the end of the year.

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