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New visa restrictions upheld for the US

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Airport travel

Effective 29 June 2017 and until further notice, there are restrictions on citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US. 

What are the new restrictions?

The following applies only to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.  In order to obtain a visa to enter the USA travellers must show a ‘bona fide’ connection with a person or entity within the United States in one of the following ways:

  • Prove a close familial relationship with someone in the USA (immediate or extended family).
  • Have a proven and documented business relationship with an entity or organisation in the USA.
  • Students registered at a US educational institution, someone with an offer of employment or someone invited to attend a conference or deliver a lecture would be permitted to enter.

Would these people still require a visa?

Yes.  Fulfilling the criteria above allows affected travellers to apply for a visa to enter the USA.

What about dual citizens?

If someone is a citizen of one of the six listed countries and another (such as Australia, New Zealand, Britain etc) they are not subject to the restrictions above.  They will however require a visa and to travel on a passport other than from one of the restricted nations.

What about US residents or Green Card holders?

Citizens of one of the restricted nations who are also US residents, citizens or Green Card holders are not subject to these restrictions.

What about people who have no genuine connection with the USA but already have a visa?

Anyone on a valid visa obtained prior to 26 June 2017 will not be subject to these restrictions.

The US border and immigration authorities still reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone, even those holding valid ESTAs or visas.

What does this mean for tourists?

People from one of the six nations who are genuine tourists will face these restrictions and will have to prove a genuine connection to the USA as outlined.

Could people simply ‘engineer’ a connection with the USA?

These visa requests will be subject to intense scrutiny and any false information will result in the applicant being banned from entering the US.

What about people who have visited one of the six nations since March 2011?

Regardless of your nationality, if you have visited Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since March 2011, you will need a visa to enter the USA.  You will not be able to travel on an ESTA.

Campus Travel advises that travellers apply for your visa at least two months prior to travel.  The process may be expedited but it is best to allow as much time as possible.

You can begin your visa application here.

We strongly recommend that anyone who has any questions about their travel status or visa validity, contact your nearest US embassy or consulate (contact information below).

Can my travel consultant contact the US consulate on my behalf?

It is best if you contact the consulate yourself due to the personal nature of the information and the identity verification they will require. You should have your passport details handy when you are speaking to the consulate.

Contacts:

US Consulate in Australia: 1300 139 399 or https://au.usembassy.gov/

 

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