U.S. To Require Foreign Travelers To Register Online

    June 5, 2008

A new U.S. law will require travelers visiting the country without visas to register personal information online at least three days before they depart.

The new online system is part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (WPP) and is required by the Implementing Recommendations of 9/11 Commission ACT of 2007.

"Rather than relying on paper-based procedures, this system will leverage 21st century electronic means to obtain basic information about who is traveling to the U.S.without a visa," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

"Getting this information in advance enables our frontline personnel to determine whether a visa-free traveler presents a threat, before boarding an aircraft or arriving on our shores. It is a relatively simple and effective way to strengthen our security, and that of international travelers, while helping to preserve an important program for key allies."

The new law requires travelers to submit information to a Web site that they now fill out on an I-94W form while traveling to the U.S. Those who cannot access a U.S. government Web site can register through travel agents or airline Web sites.

Authorization will be valid for multiple visits for two years. The law will go into effect on January 12, 2009.