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VISA VETTING MEASURES

US asks all countries to share more traveller data

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2017

The US authorities have asked all nations to provide extensive data to help them vet visa applicants and determine whether a traveller poses a terrorist threat, a Reuters report said.

Countries that fail to comply with the new protocols or take steps to do so within 50 days could face travel sanctions, the exclusive Reuters report said quoting a cable obtained it.

The cable, sent to all US diplomatic posts on Wednesday by the US State Department, is a summary of a worldwide review of vetting procedures that was required under US President Donald Trump’s revised March 6 executive order that temporarily banned US travel by most citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries, it said.

The memo lays out a series of standards the US will require of other countries, including that they issue, or have active plans to issue, electronic passports and regularly report lost and stolen passports to Interpol.

It also directs nations to provide "any other identity information" requested by Washington for US visa applicants, including biometric or biographic details.

The cable sets out requirements for countries to provide data on individuals it knows or has grounds to believe are terrorists as well as criminal record information.

Further, countries are asked not to block the transfer of information about US-bound travelers to the US government and not to designate people for travel watchlists based solely on their political or religious beliefs.

"This is the first time that the US Government is setting standards for the information that is required from all countries specifically in support of immigration and traveler vetting," the cable said.




Tags: US | Visa | travller |

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