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Visa Waiver Program to be Updated, Streamlined

visa_waiver1411_428x269_to_468x312Millions of visitors come to the United States every year. This is a paper-heavy process as visitors are required to fill out the arrival/departure form, the 1-94W. This will be updated and streamlined, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Secretary Napolitano announced today the elimination of the paper arrival/departure form. The updated process, The Visa Waiver Program, will include collecting passenger information prior to departure, which will enhance airport security measures. It will also be less hassle for travelers.

Napolitano said, “This step to eliminate the paper 1-94W leverages the latest technology to further bolster security, increase convenience for visitors and better protect privacy.”

While she did not mention it, the EPA probably gives a nod to this streamlined process as it will be more environmentally friendly.

The paper form will be completely eliminated for all passengers with an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization by the end of the summer. The Customs Border Protection Agency will be activating the automated process over the next few months in airports nationwide.

CBP has already received 19 million ESTA applications. It is recommended that passengers begin the ESTA application as soon as they begin making travel plans.

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