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DHS Signs Visa Waiver Program Interim Declaration with Bulgaria
June 17, 2008
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff signed today a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) interim declaration with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin. The security enhancements outlined in the declaration continues Bulgaria’s progress on the path toward visafree travel to the U.S., and possible designation as a VWP member.
DHS Designates EVerify as Employment Eligibility Verification System for All Federal Contractors
June 9, 2008
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today designated EVerify, operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration, as the electronic employment eligibility verification system that all federal contractors must use as required by Executive Order 12989, as amended. EVerify is a free Internetbased system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the legal status of new hires within seconds.
DHS Announces Customer Service Improvements to Entry Process for International Travelers
June 6, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today the launch of three initiatives – the Global Entry pilot program, the Passenger Service Program, and an expanded Model Ports Initiative – intended to strengthen customer service at U.S. ports of entry.
DHS To Upgrade Homeland Security Information Network
June 6, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it is taking steps to enhance its Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). Known as HSIN Next Generation (NextGen), the enhancement will provide a secure and trusted national platform for Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) information sharing and collaboration between federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, private sector, and international partners.
DHS Announces PreTravel Authorization Program for U.S.Bound Travelers from Visa Waiver Countries
June 03, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today the Interim Final Rule for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a new online system that is part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and is required by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.
Extension of Optional Training Program for Qualified NonImmigrant F1 Students
May 23, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an interim final rule on April 4, 2008, extending the period of Optional Practical Training (OPT) from 12 to 29 months for qualified F1 nonimmigrant students. The extension is available to F1 students with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) who are employed by businesses enrolled in the EVerify program.
DHS Realigns TWIC Compliance Date
May 2, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced that the final compliance date for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program will be April 15, 2009, which reflects a realignment of the Sept. 25, 2008 compliance date set in the final rule. The seven month extension is a direct result of collaboration with port officials and industry, and realigns the enrollment period with the original intent of the TWIC final rule.
DHS Announces Enhancements in Aviation Security & Travel Screening
April 28, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced improvements aimed at strengthening aviation security while decreasing the hassle factor for travelers. Among the key improvements, DHS is providing airlines more flexibility to allow passengers to check in remotely who have been unable to do so because they have a name similar to someone on a watch list. The department also unveiled the Checkpoint Evolution prototype, which will begin full operation at BaltimoreWashington International Airport (BWI) today. Each airline will now be able to create a system to verify and securely store a passenger’s date of birth to clear up watch list misidentifications. By voluntarily providing this limited biographical data to an airline and verifying that information once at the ticket counter, travelers that were previously inconvenienced on every trip will now be able to checkin online or at remote kiosks.
DHS Proposes to Establish Biometric Exit Procedures at all U.S Air and Sea Ports of Departure
April 22, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today a notice of proposed rulemaking that will establish biometric exit procedures at all U.S air and sea ports of departure. The majority of nonU.S. citizens are already required to submit digital fingerprints and a digital photograph for admission into the country. The USVISIT Exit proposal would require nonU.S. citizens who provide biometric identifiers for admission to also provide digital fingerprints when departing the country from any air or sea ports of departure.
Visa Waiver Program Agreement Signed with Korea
April 18, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff signed today a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myunghwan. The security enhancements outlined in the agreement puts Korea on the path toward visafree travel to the U.S., and potential designation as a VWP member as early as later this year.

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