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The Department of Homeland Security released a statement today announcing the increased scrutiny of travelers coming to the U.S. through the Visa Waver Program (VWP). The program covers 38, primarily European and Asian, countries and allows travelers to enter the U.S. without first obtaining a visa.

According to the statement, travelers entering the U.S. from VWP countries will have to report potential aliases, citizenships, parents name(s), national identification number, contact information, employment information, and city of birth to ESTA; the electronic system the U.S. uses to screen travelers before they're admitted.

While no specific reason was given for the changes, Capitol Hill lawmakers have called for stricter checks for travelers from VWP countries that have had many of their citizens fighting with the Islamic State or other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.

Read the full DHS statement

Interior Enforcement
Visa Waiver Program

Updated: Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 3:05pm EST