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U.S House of Representatives votes to place restrictions on visa-free travel to the United States
| December 09, 2015

The U.S House of Representatives has voted to place restrictions on travel to the United States by citizens of 38 nations who are allowed to enter the country without obtaining a visa. This is in response to the Paris attacks on November 13, 2015, and recent shootings in San Bernandino, California.

The House Homeland Security Committee chairman said, "this legislation will help close gaping security gaps and improve our ability to stop dangerous individuals before they reach our shores".

With about 20 million visitiors a year entering the United States, under the program which allows them stay for 90 days, the U.S Congress has been forced to focus on visa waivers since the Paris attacks because some of the militants behind the attacks were Europeans who had adopted extreme political, social and religious ideas and aspirations after visiting Syria.

The new bill requires visitors from the visa waiver countries, which are mostly in Western Europe, to obtain a visa to travel to the United States if they have been to Syria, Iraq, Iran or Sudan during the past five years. Also, countries participating in the program are required to share information with U.S authorities about suspected terrorists or risk being suspended from the scheme. 

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