As of January 21, 2016, new visa requirements have been put into effect for certain Europeans with dual citizenship entering the United States. These include Europeans who are dual nationals of Syria, Sudan, Iran, and Iraq, or who have visited any of those countries within the past five years.
This means that travelers with valid Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTAs) and have dual nationality with any of the above listed countries on their ESTA applications will have their ESTAs revoked.
Currently, there are 38 countries whose citizens enjoy visa-free travel to the United States for trips of up to 90 days. However, with the new changes now in effect, certain travelers will no longer enjoy this privilege. Some travelers have already been denied from boarding their flights to the U.S.
The objective of the new visa requirements is to prevent people who may have been involved with ISIS from entering the United States. Syria, Sudan, Iran, and Iraq were specific targets due to the Islamic State’s control of territory within these countries.
Some suggest the new requirements are a result of “hatred, not security.” United Sates lawmakers responded by saying that the new demands are necessary, especially following the recent Paris terrorist attacks and shootings in San Bernardino, California.
For those who are affected by the new changes, a new visa for entering the United States may be obtained after attending a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate. According to the Department of Homeland Security, some exceptions may be made for certain dual nationals, such as journalists, humanitarian workers, and government officials.
If you would like to check your ESTA status, visit esta.cbp.dhs.gov. For more information about visa applications, please visit travel.state.gov.