The USA announced earlier today that it would resume issuing visas for Turkish citizens seeking to enter the USA. Turkey has reciprocated by removing the ban on travel to Turkey by US Citizens.
The lifting of the bans are effective as of today.
The bans were first put in place on October 9 as part of the American protest over the arrest of a Turkish citizen who worked for the US Embassy in Ankara. The Turks claim the employee has links to Fethullah Gulen, an individual that Turkey believes is behind terrorist attacks within their borders.
With the removal of the travel ban to Turkey, US can now once again purchase visas to enter turkey in Istanbul at a kiosk located near passport control. The current cost of the visa is $30.
The US State Department has issued a supplemental form for those who need a Visa to enter the USA. Though it is not breaking news since the State Department said previously that they were heading in this direction, it is now part of the process to gain entry to the states.
Not everyone applying for a Visa will be required to submit this supplement. According to the Federal Register, it is expected that this supplement may affect 65,000 Visa applicants.
The form itself is quite clear in terms of what information is needed:
- Personal history, including passport info and countries visited over the last 15 years.
- Information on siblings and spouses.
- All of your email addresses over the past 5 years, including personal, work, and educational addresses.
- All of your social media handles and aliases over the past 5 years.
- Employment history over the past 15 years.
In looking at the fine print, it appears that this form is set to expire in November 2017. The State Department offers no information as to whether or not this enhanced screening will continue beyond the expiry of this form. Normally forms like this are approved by the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are valid for 3 years.
With this form only being valid until November, I can’t help but think it’s a temporary measure put in place by the White House on heels of their strategy to temporarily increase scrutiny on those wishing to enter the country.