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National Business Travel Association

NBTA urges U.S. government to permit expansion of Visa Waiver Program

The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) voiced concern about the lack of a fully implemented biometric air exit procedure in the United States, which will prevent expansion of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). As of June 30, 2009, because an official biometric air exit system does not exist, current law prohibits the addition of countries who otherwise meet all necessary security criteria for VWP…

The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) voiced concern about the lack of a fully implemented biometric air exit procedure in the United States, which will prevent expansion of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). As of June 30, 2009, because an official biometric air exit system does not exist, current law prohibits the addition of countries who otherwise meet all necessary security criteria for VWP.

NBTA has been a long-time supporter of the VWP and was pleased to see the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, South Korea, Latvia, Malta, Lithuania, and Slovakia added last year. With members in more than 30 nations, regional affiliates based in Canada, Mexico, Australia and Brazil, and partner organizations throughout Europe, NBTA understands the importance of facilitating business travel to the United States for foreign travelers.

To allow further expansion of the VWP, NBTA urges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Congress to work together to either fund and implement a biometric air exit procedure or alter existing law to enforce immigration laws through a strengthened biographic exit program.

Kevin Maguire, CCTE, GLP, NBTA President & CEO, said, “We are disappointed that DHS has not yet established a fully implemented biometric air exit program. The gridlock between DHS and aviation stakeholders and a lack of federal funding has delayed air exit for almost two years.  Now, more than ever, U.S. companies need visa free travel for their global partners to enable the free flow of commerce.”

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