In 2015, the US passed the "Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015" that made anybody who has visited North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 ineligible for using the US Visa Waiver Program.

On January 20, 2021, President Biden repealed the so-called "Muslim travel ban" forbidding nationals of many countries like Iran from traveling to the US:


Was the VWP ban also repealed? Or do VWP nationals who have been to any of those countries still need to apply for a US visa?


1 Answer 1


No, the CBP website still lists the requirements on April 25, 2021. The VWP restrictions are imposed by an Act of Congress (the Immigration and Nationality Act as amended by the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015).

The President cannot unilaterally revoke or amend a law passed by the Congress by executive order, even if there may be other things they could do to make it ineffective in practice.

The measure, which came into force when Obama was in office (as was Biden), was not, at least not supposed to be or in eyes of Biden, a "Muslim" travel ban but instead aimed at preventing "terrorists", as it applies to all visitors who could be of any religion.

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    The VWP ban is in fact a form of sanctions on Iran as it discourages people from traveling there. Has nothing to do with religion or true concerns over terrorism.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 15:35
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    @JonathanReez So it's complete coincidence that all the banned countries except North Korea are Muslim... Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 5:20
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    That is how some are viewing it (as a so-called Muslim ban.) I say so-called, because the list isn't ALL of the predominantly Muslim countries. But some only see ill in anything the US government does, reading more into things than are there. The list of countries above is only about a fourth of all of the majority-Muslim countries that would be on it, if it was truly meant to be a "Muslim ban".
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 14:32

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