However, after the passage of HR158, America will no longer accept nationals of the 38 participating countries through this program if they
1. Are dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan
2. Have been to Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan since 3/1/11
It is likely that many European countries will adopt policies that mirror that of the United States This means American citizens, including Shia Muslims, who have performed any ziyarat of the holy cities of Najaf, Karbala, Samarrah, Mashad, Qum, or other locations in Iraq, Iran or Syria after 2011 will have to apply for a visa every time they leave the country.
12/19/2015 – Secretary Kerry writes to Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif assuring him the administration can waive visa requirements for business purposes.
1/13/2016 – Congressiona l Representatives Amash & Conyers of MI introduce HR4380 to repeal the dual-nationality language. The language pertaining to visits to the countries remains unaddressed..
A bill has been introduced to repeal the dual nationality language. A second bill to address visitation is expected in March.
1. UMAA encourages you to call your congressional representative about HR4380, the bill that repeals some of the new requirements, and let them know your opinion on the bill and how you feel about individuals affected by possible visa complications when perform religious travel to Iraq, Iran or Syria
2. UMAA is working with a coalition to develop a bill that will repeal the remaining portion from law OR to include an exemption of religious travel. Watch for updates and calls to action on this.