Imagine arriving at the airport to travel to the United States to negotiate a contract having a flourishing US company. Landing this contract will make a fantastic deal of gain for your own European company. You have taken the necessary precautions to guarantee a smooth trip: came early for your trip, supported that the Electronic System for Travel Authorization ("esta") application you created last season remains legal, and also book your hotel and car leasing in the USA well beforehand. But when you reach the check-in counter, the flight broker starts questioning a recent business trip you took into the Middle East. After a little discussion, the broker apologizes and informs you that you're unable to board the flight, and therefore are not eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. In shock, you must return to your home, possibly miss out on business in the USA, and handle the practice of getting a US visa.
Why you might no longer be eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program?
Unfortunately, the above scenario is becoming increasingly more common. In case you've applied for ESTA following February 2016, then you might have seen the inclusion of lots of queries on this application. For instance, it currently asks the applicant to announce whether they are currently, or happen to be a citizen or national of another nation. The huge majority of folks traveling into the USA on the Visa Waiver Program were probably unaware of any adjustments to the app, since the ESTA application is presently valid for two decades.
Thus, citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries who have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen on or after one March 2011, are no longer able to go to the United States visa free. Further, taxpayers that are a dual national of a Visa Waiver Program country and Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen, are also no longer eligible to travel visa free. There are limited exceptions for all those existing in among those specified countries for diplomatic or military factors.