Non-U.S. citizens who currently travel visa-free to the United States pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program ("VWP") by registering through the Electronic System Travel Authorization ("ESTA") may need to obtain visas if they have certain connections to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria. This may affect employees on visas who travel widely or who have dual nationality. The new "Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015" provides that travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP:

  • Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled 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.

These individuals will still be able to apply for a visa using the regular immigration process at our embassies or consulates. For those who need a U.S. visa for urgent business, medical or humanitarian travel to the United States, U.S. embassies and consulates can process applications on an expedited basis.

Exemptions are available for certain individuals who traveled to these countries for certain business-related purposes, persons representing international organizations and humanitarian non-governmental organizations, and journalists.