EU-US: VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME: Letter from Commission and Council to Chertoff, and Chertoff reply

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Letter from Commission and Council to Chertoff (US Homeland Security Secretary, dated 28 June 2007, pdf) and Reply from Chertoff (31 August 2007, pdf).

The EU letter asks for "visa-free travel" for all its citizens "without introducing additional burdens". It also offer to negotiate an "EU-US readmission agreement" if the EU commitment under international law is not sufficient.

Chertoff's reply confirms the EU's Visa Waiver entry to the USA is effectively to be abolished. Chertoff writes: "We can no longer afford to ssume that all ctizens of VWP countries represent lesser security threats, and that all citzens of non-VWP countries represent greater threats" So in addtion to booking their flight visitors to the USA will also "make a reservation with the United States" and they will be checked against watch-lists and will have to get "Electronic Travel Authorisation" (ETA) before leaving. Chertoff says that the US is keen to work with the EU "to develop compatible and complementary systems".

See also:

EU-US relations: Visa Waiver Programme checks for all (link)

US-VISIT exit system not in place, nor likely to be in the foreseeable future (link)

European Commission to propose EU PNR travel surveillance system (link)

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