For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
WASHINGTON— Yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson met with Norwegian Minister of Justice and Public Security Anders Anundsen to discuss cooperation on a number of shared security and travel facilitation issues.
A trusted security partner, Norway has been a member of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program since 1991. During yesterday’s meeting, Secretary Johnson and Minister Anundsen discussed next steps for ensuring secure, visa-free travel between the United States and Norway. On December 18, 2015, Congress passed the “Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015,” which introduced new requirements for Visa Waiver Program countries, including Norway, and their citizens. These legislative changes include regulations for E-Passports and visa requirements for citizens of all Visa Waiver Program countries, including Norwegian nationals, who have dual citizenship in – or since March 1, 2011 have traveled to – Iraq, Syria, and countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism. In addition, the legislation requires Visa Waiver Program countries to screen travelers against INTERPOL databases and implement the information sharing agreements required under the Program. Secretary Johnson underscored the importance of working together to swiftly implement these new legislative requirements and the security enhancements to the Visa Waiver Program introduced by the Department of Homeland Security in August 2015.
Secretary Johnson and Minister Anundsen continued the dialogue between the United States and Norway on expanding Preclearance operations to Oslo International Airport. Secretary Johnson emphasized the importance of expanding the Preclearance program, which enables U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop potential threats before they arrive on U.S. soil and provides strong economic opportunities between the two countries. Secretary Johnson and Minister Anundsen also reaffirmed their commitment to work together to implement the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2178, which addresses terrorism and preventing the movement of foreign terrorist fighters through improved information sharing, interdiction and arrests, and border security measures.
# # #