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11th May, 2018

US may terminate visa waiver



The US government has major concerns regarding passport fraud in Hungary and may terminate its visa waiver for Hungarian citizens, investigative news site Direkt36 and US daily the Washington Post said on Thursday.

The US Department of Homeland Security believes that at least 65 out of the about 700 people who had fraudulently obtained Hungarian passports have entered the US under false identities. As of October, 30 remained there despite efforts to find them.

In October, the US sent a warning to Hungary by changing its status in the visa waiver programme to provisional.

In April this year, senior DHS officials travelled to Budapest to warn Hungary that unless it solves the problem, the country will be suspended or removed from the visa waiver programme.

Hungary has identified the “corrective action,” but that remains a work in progress, the Washington Post said.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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