US Suspension of Immediate and Continuous Transit programmes

Members are advised that the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of State issued separate, but coordinated, rules suspending the US Immediate and Continuous Transit Programmes. These programmes consist of the Transit Without Visa (TWOV) programme and the International-to-International (ITI) programme. Non-immigrant aliens, except those from visa waiver programme countries, must now have a US visa prior to arrival in the United States, even if just engaged in transit through the US to another foreign location. The Homeland Security proposed rule already states that, as of Saturday, 2 August 2003, the TWOV and the ITI programmes have been suspended.

This action may have an immediate impact on such things as crew changes for ships where the crew member was planning to travel through the United States en route either to the ship or to home. Now such non-US persons will have to have a US visa to undertake the travel. The suspension does not impact citizens of US visa-waiver countries. There are limited exceptions for persons already travelling. Details of the suspension are explained in the brochure, which can be downloaded from the US Department of Homeland Security website  

The rules can be found at the following links:

Department of Homeland Security 68 Fed. Reg. 46926

Department of State 68 Fed. Reg. 46948   

Comments on the new rules should be submitted prior to 22 September 2003.

Contact: Dragos Rauta