US updates Visa Waiver Programme

28 Jan 2016 by Clement Huang

The US has tightened the rules of its Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), which currently allows citizens of 38 participating countries to travel to the US without a visa for stays of up to 90 days.

With immediate effect, travellers who fall under the following categories are no longer eligible to travel to the US without applying for a visa:

  • Nationals of VWP countries who have travelled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country)
  • Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria
Those with fathers born in these four countries may also be affected if the country law dictates nationality is automatically transferred from a father to his children, such as in Iran. 

Travellers who hold dual nationality with one of the four countries listed above and currently have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorisations (ESTAs) will have these revoked.

Individuals in these categories will now need to apply for a visa using the regular immigration process at US embassies and consulates.

For more information, visit

Clement Huang

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