US Outlines New Guidelines for Travel Visa Recipients

Xavier Trudeau
Juillet 14, 2017

If any country fails to meet the new protocols within 50 days, travel sanctions would be initiated, according to a State Department cable obtained by Reuters.

The memorandum sent is merely a summary of the new required vetting standards set forth as part of Trump's executive order to ban migrants from 6 Muslim countries signed earlier this year.

Nations would need to act quickly to satisfy the USA requirements or face potential backlash, such as an embargo on "categories" of that country's citizens.

The memo outlines a series of requirements for other countries to meet if their citizens are to travel to the United States.

The U.S. also wants countries to share information related to criminal histories of visa applicants and to share information on "individuals it knows or has reasonable grounds to believe are terrorists".

The clock has started to tick on a 50-day deadline for foreign governments to meet new USA standards for passports and sharing information about their citizens.

The memo asks the nations not to place citizens on travel watchlists based exclusively on their religious backgrounds.

The Department of Homeland Security has not commented.

The cable lays out risk factors the USA government will consider when evaluating a country.

As part of the new guidelines, nations would need to agree to take citizens back that the USA government wanted to remove, and they would have to ensure "they are not and do not have the potential to become a terrorist safe haven".

If they do not provide the information requested, or come up with an adequate plan to, countries could end up on a list to be submitted to Trump for possible sanction, including barring "categories" of their citizens from entering the United States.

The US Supreme Court had approved a 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and a 120-day ban on refugees, with exceptions for people with "close family relationships" in the United States.

The cable also asked diplomats to "underscore that while it is not our goal to impose a ban on immigration benefits, including visas, for citizens of any country, these standards are created to mitigate risk, and failure to make progress could lead to security measures by the United States government".

According to the cable obtained by Reuters, the Trump administration has already determined that some countries do not meet the vetting standards, but did not list them in the message.

As part of what US President Donald Trump's administration says are steps to better protect the US from terror attacks, the US State Department has issued a memorandum requesting that all countries take measures to follow procedures that will provide more extensive information on its travelers to the US.

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