March 28, 2016: Our hearts and thoughts go out to all those affected by the recent acts of terrorism in Belgium, Turkey and any place that people are victim to this sort of senseless violence.
At Brand USA and throughout the travel and tourism industry, we believe that traveler and citizen safety must be the top priority. By communicating safety measures and helping the traveling public understand the security measures in place during the arrival process, we continue to welcome travelers from around the world with open arms. Our partners in the Federal government are working diligently to provide safe entry into and travel within the United States while continuing to optimize the efficiency of the entry process. In fact, in 2015, more than 112 million international travelers arrived at U.S. air ports of entry, an increase of 5.1 percent from the previous fiscal year. Despite the continued increase in international air travelers, the national average wait time at the top 10 international airports was down 3 percent.
More information about the federal government and law enforcement measures to ensure the safety of travelers and the homeland is available here.
January 5, 2015: On Tuesday, January 6, 2015 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will remove Mali from the list of Ebola-affected nations subject to enhanced visa and port-of-entry screening. Also, CDC will remove the Alert Level 2 Travel Notice for Mali, which advised travelers to practice enhanced precautions when visiting that nation. More information is available here.
November 16, 2014: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) added Mali to the list of Ebola-affected nations for which enhanced screening and monitoring measures will be taken. More information is available here.
November 10, 2014: President Obama announced that the United States and the People’s Republic of China are concluding a reciprocal visa validity arrangement during his visit that will strengthen our ever-broadening economic and people-to-people ties. Both countries have agreed to increase the validity of short-term tourist and business visas issued to each other’s citizens from one to ten years – the longest validity possible under U.S. law – and increase the validity of student and exchange visas from one to five years. The United States will begin issuing visas in accordance with the new reciprocal agreement on Wednesday, November 12.
The official announcement can be viewed at this link.
November 3, 2014: The Department of Homeland Security has established additional data fields of information in the travel application submitted via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for those seeking to travel to the United States from countries in our Visa Waiver Program (VWP). DHS has also updated some of the old ESTA questions by rephrasing them in a manner that is more user friendly. Those seeking to travel to the United States from VWP countries will be required to provide additional information such as additional passport data, contact information and other potential names or aliases. These changes ensure the safety of travelers to the United States. The ESTA site updates also make the application process more straightforward and reliable by using clear language and allowing DHS to grant visa waiver travel to more individuals with common names.
Additional information on the new data elements and on the ESTA system can be found at this link.
October 22, 2014:All travelers who arrive in the United States from Ebola-stricken countries will be closely monitored for 21 days by public health officials starting Monday, October 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said that anyone arriving from the three countries – Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia – will be actively monitored on a daily basis and will also face new rules about where they can travel within the United States. "These new measures I'm announcing today will give additional levels of safety so that people who develop symptoms of Ebola are isolated quickly," Frieden told reporters during a news briefing. “This is another step to protect families, communities and health care workers from Ebola,” Frieden said. “We’re tightening the process by establishing active monitoring for every traveler who returns to this country after a visit to one of the three affected countries [in West Africa]. That includes CDC employees; that includes journalists; that includes all individuals who have been there within 21 days,” reports The Washington Post.
In addition, travelers will receive a CARE (Check And Report Ebola) kit at the airport that contains a tracking log and pictorial description of symptoms, a thermometer, guidance for how to monitor with thermometer, a wallet card on who to contact if they have symptoms and that they can present to a health care provider, and a health advisory infographic on monitoring health for three weeks, said the CDC in a press release Wednesday.
October 8, 2014: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs & Border Protection (CBP) this week will begin new layers of entry screening at five U.S. airports that receive over 94 percent of travelers from the Ebola-affected nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Click here to learn more and read the statement.
Read the CDC's Q&A on Ebola.
July 28, 2014: The Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to make progress restoring our nonimmigrant visa system to full functionality. Over the weekend, the Department of State implemented system changes aimed at optimizing performance and addressing the challenges we have faced. We are now testing our system capacity to ensure stability. Processing of immigrant visas cases, including adoptions, remains a high priority. Some Embassies and Consulates may temporarily limit or reschedule nonimmigrant visa interview appointments until more system resources become available to process these new applications. We sincerely regret the inconvenience to travelers, and are committed to resolving the problem as soon as possible. Additional updates will be posted to travel.state.gov as more information becomes available. Click here for further information and to read the statement.
July 7, 2014: The USA has updated entrance requirements and electronic devices may be screened. Please be advised that powerless electronic devices will not be permitted onboard aircraft bound to the USA. Click here to read the TSA's press release and the statement issued by Homeland Security.