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U.S. Department of Justice
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Washington, DC 20536

NEWS RELEASE

October 4, 2000 

Visa Waiver Pilot Program Extension to End on February 2, 2001

Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP) interim parole measures have been temporarily 
extended through February 2, 2001, to provide Congress the opportunity to 
consider legislation regarding the future of the program. In the meantime, 
VWPP-like procedures, specifically designed to cause minimal disruption to 
travelers, are in use at U.S. ports of entry.

Since May 1, when the program officially expired, INS has continued to facilitate 
the inspection of the travelers who would have been covered under the VWPP. However, 
there no longer exists the legal authority to continue this effort. Because travel 
plans are often booked far in advance and the holiday season is rapidly approaching, 
INS has taken the step to allow its interim measures to continue through February 2, 
2001.

Should Congress and the President fail to enact legislation that would re-authorize 
the program, all nationals covered under the VWPP will have to obtain a visa from a 
U.S. Embassy or Consulate before traveling to the United States after February 2, 2001.

Background
The VWPP, begun in 1988, permitted nationals from designated countries, who are not 
prohibited by U.S. law from entering the United States, to visit the United States 
for business or pleasure for up to 90 days without obtaining a nonimmigrant visitor 
visa. The 29 VWPP designated countries were: 
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, 
Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, 
New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom, 
Portugal, Singapore, Uruguay.
The United States chose nations to participate in the program on the basis of a low visa 
refusal rate and a determination that nationals of those countries generally pose no threat 
to the health, safety, welfare or security of the United States.

					- INS - 



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