Published on : Friday, April 21, 2017
The US visa-waiver programme might undergo new rules and speculation under the Trump administration. According to the current rules, it allows European passport holders to travel to America without a visa.
The secretary of homeland security, John Kelly said in a statement at George Washington University allowing Europeans to travel to the US without a visa should be reviewed and pointed towards the concern of over tourism. However, keeping up the hope, he added that they would have to start looking very hard at that [visa-waiver] program… not eliminating it and not doing anything excessive.
Thousands of European passport holders have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight for the so-called Islamic State and Kelly said he feared the US visa-waiver programme could be exploited by terrorists looking to carry out attacks on US soil.
Apart from Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Cyprus, all EU countries are included within the US visa-waiver programme.
According to the travel experts, the US has until May to address the current imbalance – or face the prospect of its citizens having to apply for visas to travel around the EU. It will, in reality create much hardship for US citizens to travel around the EU – and vice versa.
Eduardo Santander, executive director of the European Travel Commission (ETC) said in a letter that they are very concerned about the economic and political impact of a suspension of visa waiver for US nationals.
Various Trump administration policies, of which the two drastically failed travel bans created much discouragement in the holidaymakers from visiting America. According to the industry experts, the US is set to see a 10.6 million decline in visitors over the next two years and it might result in an estimated $18 billion drop of US economy.