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Pre Approval Authorization Required for All Visa Waiver Countries

It may become even harder to travel to the US if you are from a visa waiver country. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that beginning Jan. 12, 2009, eligible citizens or nationals from all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries must obtain approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to traveling to the United States under the VWP. DHS formally announced the addition of seven allies to the list of countries authorized to participate in the VWP. The seven countries are the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, the Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia.

DHS state that required authorization through ESTA will substantially strengthen the security of the VWP by providing the department with the capability to conduct advance screening of VWP travelers. I feel that this will cause substantial delays and complications for travelers from such countries.

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