Visa Waiver Program, and More from CRS
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows foreign nationals from 38 countries to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. The travelers must still present a valid passport and meet certain other requirements. There were 20 million visitors who entered the United States under this program in FY 2013.
“Concerns have been raised about the ability of terrorists to enter the United States under the VWP, because those entering under the VWP undergo a biographic rather than a biometric (i.e., fingerprint) security screening, and do not need to interview with a U.S. government official before embarking to the United States,” a newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service observes.
“Nonetheless, it can be argued that the VWP strengthens national security because it sets standards for travel documents, requires information sharing between the member countries and the United States on criminal and security concerns, and mandates reporting of lost and stolen travel documents. In addition, most VWP travelers have to present e-passports (i.e., passports with a data chip containing biometric information), which tend to be more difficult to alter than other types of passports,” CRS wrote. See Visa Waiver Program, updated December 4, 2015.
The Visa Waiver Program was the subject of legislation to modify its requirements that passed in the House of Representatives yesterday. Among other things, the bill would exclude individuals who have visited Syria, Iraq, Iran, or Sudan since March 2011 from utilizing the visa waiver.
Other new or updated reports produced by the Congressional Research Service over the past week include the following.
Women in Combat: Issues for Congress, updated December 3, 2015
Fact Sheet: Selected Highlights of the FY2016 Defense Budget Debate and the National Defense Authorization Acts (H.R. 1735 and S. 1356), updated December 4, 2015
Venezuelan Opposition Wins December 2015 Legislative Elections, CRS Insight, December 7, 2015
Spain and Its Relations with the United States: In Brief, December 4, 2015
Selected Securities Legislation in the 114th Congress, December 4, 2015
EPA and the Army Corps’ Proposed Rule to Define “Waters of the United States”, updated December 3, 2015
Factors Related to the Use of Planned Parenthood Affiliated Health Centers (PPAHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), December 3, 2015
District Court Holds Appropriations Language Limits Enforcement of Federal Marijuana Prohibition, CRS Legal Sidebar, December 4, 2015
Supreme Court to Decide Case with Important Implications for Tribal Authority Over Nonmembers, CRS Legal Sidebar, December 4, 2015
School Locker Rooms Become the New Battleground in the Gender (Identity) Wars, CRS Legal Sidebar, December 4, 2015
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons, and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987.. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
On 14 April 2023, the Belarusian Ministry of Defence released a short video of a Su-25 pilot explaining his new role in delivering “special [nuclear] munitions” following his training in Russia. The features seen in the video, as well as several other open-source clues, suggest that Lida Air Base––located only 40 kilometers from the Lithuanian border and the […]
A photo in a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) student briefing from 2022 shows four people inspecting what appears to be a damaged B61 nuclear bomb.
In early-February 2023, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) had informed Congress that China now has more launchers for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) than the United States. The report is the latest in a serious of revelations over the past four years about China’s growing nuclear weapons arsenal and the deepening […]