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The Visa Waiver Program

Executive Summary

The Visa Waiver Program was established in 1986 to promote international tourism without jeopardizing U.S. security. The program allows nationals from designated countries to enter the United States and stay for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate. Currently, there are 36 Visa Waiver Program countries. The Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to assess the law enforcement and security risks of Visa Waiver Program countries, and terminate a country from the Visa Waiver Program if necessary.

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