RealNews

Visa-Free Visits to U.S. Endangered by Looming Rules

Countries whose citizens need no visa to visit the United States could lose that privilege as they are likely to miss a deadline to include extra security data on passports, U.S. and industry officials said on Tuesday. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security said the majority of the 27 “visa waiver” countries — most of which are European but also include Japan and Australia — were unlikely to meet the Oct. 26 deadline for including so-called biometric features, such as digital photographs or fingerprints, in all new passports. “These countries simply, most of them, cannot comply,” said James Williams, director of a visitor registration program launched by the Department of Homeland Security on Monday to fingerprint and photograph those arrivals who do require a visa. Some 15.1 million people came into the United States under the visa waiver program last year, accounting for about two-thirds of spending by overseas visitors. Full Story

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