Visa Waiver Program Reform

Speaking of our elected officials, the U.S. House of Representatives just recently passed legislation that would overhaul the federal visa waiver program.

A visa is an official mark, or stamp on a passport that allows someone to enter or leave a country, usually for a particular reason. That's different from a passport, which is issued by a person's government and identifies them as a citizen of that country.

The House voted overwhelmingly to require more information sharing from visa waiver countries, or the countries where travelers don't need a visa to visit the U.S. The visa waiver program currently allows citizens from 38 partner nations to travel to the U.S. for visits up to 90 days, without a visa. In return, U.S. citizens can visit those countries in the same manner.

The new legislation would bar travelers from Iraq, Syria, Iran and Sudan, or those who have visited those countries in the last five years, from traveling to the United States without a visa.

The senate will consider the proposal, which supporting lawmakers say will help strengthen national security.

Instructional Links

Website Article: U. S. Department of State: Visa Waiver Program

Encyclopedia Article: Encyclopedia of Environmental Studies, Smog

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