FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TERMINATES ARGENTINA'S PARTICIPATION
IN VISA WAIVER PROGRAM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice announced today, under an emergency termination provision, the imminent publication of an interim rule to officially remove Argentina from the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The Department of Justice, in consultation with the Department of State, has concluded that Argentina's participation in the VWP is no longer compatible with the enforcement of immigration laws of the United States. The decision follows Argentina's recent economic collapse that has led to a 20 percent unemployment rate and economic uncertainty.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service has experienced an increase in the number of Argentine nationals attempting to use the VWP to enter the U. S. and remain illegally in the U.S. after their 90-day period of admission expired.
Argentine nationals who intend to travel to the United States for legitimate business or pleasure are now required to obtain a non-immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy prior to their arrival into the U.S.
Nationals of Argentina, who gained lawful admission under the VWP before the removal date, may remain in the U.S. for the period of time authorized on their date of admission.
The VWP permits nationals from designated countries to apply for admission to the U.S. for 90 days or less as non-immigrant visitors for business or pleasure without first obtaining a non-immigrant visa from a U.S. consular officer abroad.
The Attorney General signed the interim regulation and transmitted it to the Federal Register. The interim regulation will be published this week in the Federal Register and will become effective immediately.
With the removal of Argentina, the following 28 countries remain in the Visa Waiver Program: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom, and Uruguay.