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30 April 2017


US could end visa-free travel for Europeans

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The Trump administration is considering making changes to the US visa-waiver system that could make it much harder for Europeans travelling to America.

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said the existing rules, which do not require Britons to obtain a visa, should be reviewed amid heightened concerns about terrorism.

"We have to start looking very hard at that [visa waiver] programme,” he said.

Mr Kelly added that he was not considering scrapping the system entirely, but said the current set-up needed to be looked at again.

"Not eliminating it and not doing anything excessive,” he said during a speech in Washington, “but look very hard at that program”.

The warning comes as airlines warned of a ’Trump slump’ that saw international travel to the US drop 6.5 per cent in the eight days following the president’s proposed travel ban on 27 January.

Online searches for flights to America also dropped by 17 per cent the same week. Mr Kelly said he feared Isis fighters were using the visa-waiver system to sneak into the US, warning America was the “Super Bowl in terms of terrorists…that's where they wanna come [sic]”.

The visa-waiver programme enables most citizens of participating countries to travel to the US for up to 90 days without first obtaining a visa.

Date
2017.04.20 / 17:59
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Axar.az
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