The Department of Homeland Security is creating a new visa category, M, to replace the J-1 visa, which allows foreign flight school students to train in the U.S. but is set to expire in June 2010. The new visa will be administered by the DHS instead of the State Department, which issues J-1 visas, and all applicants will be subject to TSA criminal background checks.
Visa Waiver Program
Yes, there is a bill, signed into law by President Clinton in October 2000, that would allow business aircraft operators to enjoy the same visa-waiver convenience afforded certain scheduled airline operators. It would, that is, if the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) had gotten around to integrating the new law into its own regulations.
The Transportation Security Administration is allowing operators to increase progressively the time for which international waivers are valid. Any operator who has a 90-day waiver coming up for renewal now can request a six-month waiver. Once an operator has a six-month waiver, it can get a one-year waiver. The holder of a one-year waiver coming up for renewal can request another one-year waiver.
In lieu of a passport, U.S. citizens have been permitted to present a variety of documents to establish their identity and citizenship and right to enter the U.S. But soon a driver’s license or birth certificate will not be sufficient identification for certain travel. Beginning January 23, all U.S. citizens and nonimmigrant aliens from Canada, Bermuda and Mexico entering or reentering the U.S.
Flight crews and their passengers will be affected by a proposal from the Departments of State and Homeland Security to require a U.S. or foreign passport when traveling between the U.S. and other countries in the Western Hemisphere. Starting January 1 next year, a passport would be required for air and sea travel to and from Bermuda, the Caribbean and South America. Effective Jan.