I will be travelling to the USA this coming July to spend 3 weeks of holiday vacation. I am a Swedish citizen living in Sweden. I already have an ESTA because I travelled to the US in December 2016. The ESTA I have is good for 2 years.

My question is: do you think the visa waiver program or ESTA will remain unaffected by the travel ban?

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    The travel ban affects people with citizenship in one of six countries (Libya, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen). In addition, VWP is generally closed to people with citizenship in or recent travel to, one of seven countries (the same six plus Iraq). Do you have any connection to the seven countries? – phoog Apr 24 '17 at 17:12
  • Have you ever held a Passport issues by or recently travelled to one of the (only) 6 countries affected by the restrictions? – Johns-305 Apr 24 '17 at 18:17
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    @Johns-305 People who have recently traveled to, or are dual nationals of, all seven countries are generally ineligible for the VWP. This restriction was imposed by the Obama administration and has nothing to do with the Trump executive order banning immigration from six countries. Moreover, unlike the executive order, the VWP restrictions have not been blocked by a court order. – phoog Apr 24 '17 at 18:29
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    @phoog Sorry, miscounted. But...is there a point? That's pretty much why I asked... – Johns-305 Apr 24 '17 at 18:33
  • @Johns-305 the point is that the problems certain people may have using the VWP are not related to the changes that have been ordered (but not yet implemented) since jachelle last traveled to the US. – phoog Apr 24 '17 at 18:48

Most Swedes will be unaffected by the travel ban. However, some will be ineligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), and will therefore be unable to travel using ESTA. Most of these people will be able to travel to the US using a B visa.

VWP ineligibility

Unrelated to the "travel ban" enacted by the current administration (which is currently blocked by a court order), the previous administration enacted a restriction on the VWP. Travelers who have traveled to any of seven countries on or after March 1, 2011, are ineligible for the VWP. In addition, being a citizen of any of four countries is also disqualifying. These restrictions were already in place when you last traveled to the US in December 2016.

Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).

Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.

There are exemptions available for those who traveled to these countries for diplomatic or military reasons, or perhaps for other reasons:

If an individual who is exempt from the Act because of his or her diplomatic or military presence in one of the four countries has his or her ESTA denied, he or she may go to the CBP website, or contact the CBP information Center. The traveler may also apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Certain other travelers who fall under this restriction may qualify for a waiver of the requirements. More information about possible waivers is forthcoming.

Source: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visa-waiver-program.html


People who are ineligible for the VWP may apply for a B-1 or B-2 visa to travel to the US instead. However, the ban enacted by executive order 13780 may make some of these people entirely inadmissible to the US for a period of time. The relevant provision of the order is currently blocked by a court injunction, however, so it doesn't affect anyone right now.

Among the provisions of that order is one that allows affected dual citizens to travel using their passport from an unaffected country, so again, most Swedes who can't use the VWP as described above will continue to be able to travel to the US with a B visa. Section 3(b)(iv):

(b) Exceptions. The suspension of entry pursuant to section 2 of this order shall not apply to:

... (iv) any dual national of a country designated under section 2 of this order when the individual is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;

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