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US may stop visa-free travel for Europeans


Secretary of Homeland Security points to fear of terrorism
The US may stop visa-free travel for Europeans, President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security says – a move that would affect 14 million people who visit the US visa-free each year.
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said the move was being considered due to heightened concerns about terrorism.
“We have to start looking very hard at that [visa waiver] program,” he said.
The visa-free system would not be scrapped entirely, he added, but the current set-up had to be looked at again.
“Not eliminating it and not doing anything excessive,” he said in a speech in Washington, “but look very hard at that program”. America is the “Super Bowl in terms of terrorists…that’s where they wanna come.”
Actual travel and interest in travel to the US have already suffered a ‘Trump slump’ since the president took office and proposed different variations on a travel ban. The Global Business Travel Association estimated a loss of $185 million (€171 million) in business travel bookings from 28 January to 4 February.
In the current system, most citizens in Europe can travel to the US for up to 90 days without a visa, after being authorised under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (Esta) system, which can be completed online.
However, earlier this year the US refused to grant visa-free access to people from five EU countries – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania – prompting the European Parliament to vote to end visa-free travel for Americans visiting the same countries.
CNN Money / Independent


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