Νew Conditions for Visa Waiver Countries, DHS Urges Greece to Launch Educational Campaign

December 17, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Homeland Security is adding new requirements for countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program as part of the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to tighten border and travel security.

DHS announced Friday that the 38 countries participating in the program will now be required to use U.S. counterterrorism information to screen travelers crossing their borders, as part of their existing information-sharing agreements.

The U.S. will also begin assessing how effectively the countries are protecting against insider threats to aviation security by making sure they vet their airport employees and ensure those employees aren’t corrupted.

They’ll also require Hungary, Greece, Portugal and San Marino — four countries whose citizens stayed in the U.S. longer than permitted at a rate of two percent or more last year — to launch public information campaigns to educate their citizens on the specifics of the program and consequences of violating its conditions.

The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. for business or tourism for up to 90 days without having to obtain visas. About 20 million people travel on the program every year.

“The United States faces an adaptive and agile enemy, as terrorists continue to explore ways to reach our country and to direct, enable, and inspire attacks against us,” the agency’s new secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, said in a statement. “It’s critically important we stay ahead of these threats by improving our security posture.”

As part of the roll-out, DHS is also calling on Congress to pass legislation to make permanent a series of measures already in place, such as requiring countries to allow U.S. Federal Air Marshals to operate on planes headed to the U.S.

Senior administration officials stressed they expect the countries to comply voluntarily. But if they don’t, the U.S. could take a number of steps, including, at last resort, ending their membership in the program.

Officials said a number of countries are already in compliance, but declined to say how many or which ones.

JILL COLVIN, Associated Press



SERRES - Two men were arrested in the northern Greek city of Serres on Tuesday in relation to an explosion at the city's 9th primary school that killed an 11-year-old student and injured two boys aged 6 and 10.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Warnock or Walker? Georgia Runoff to Settle Last Senate Seat

ATLANTA — Georgia voters on Tuesday are set to decide the final Senate contest in the country, choosing between Democratic Sen.

NEW YORK – St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center celebrated the feast day of its patron saint, St.

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s company was convicted of tax fraud on Tuesday in a case brought by the Manhattan District Attorney, a significant repudiation of financial practices at the former president’s business.

With Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench, the superstar striker’s replacement scored a hat trick to lead Portugal over Switzerland 6-1 and into the World Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Morocco became the first Arab nation and only the fourth African nation to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals, beating Spain 3-0 in a penalty shootout on Tuesday.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.