US to announce plan for new visa rules for some Europeans

According to a joint statement by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, nationals of countries that participate in the "visa-waiver program" who are also citizens of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria will no longer be eligible to gain automatic admission to the U.S.

The United States begins enforcing new visa rules for some travelers who have visited or who have dual nationality with Mideast states considered hotbeds of terrorism.

While the new rules are unlikely to affect great numbers of people, in December the European Union Ambassador to the U.S., David O'Sullivan, along with 28 ambassadors from E.U. countries, wrote an op-ed in The Hill expressing some concerns about the change to the visa program.

Iran is also claiming the United States is violating last summer's nuclear accord by penalizing legitimate business travel to the Islamic Republic. He said Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria had been singled out because the program was created to now restrict travel of possible Islamic State group fighters, as well as citizens of a state sponsor of terror (Iran and Sudan).

People who could be eligible for a waiver include those who visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on behalf of worldwide organizations or humanitarian groups, or journalists who carried out reporting in the four countries.

The AP report said that the Department of Homeland Security will sketch out a plan on how to implement the new rule.

Those changes are to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.

"The Obama administration is blatantly breaking the law, a law the president himself signed", said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul.

"All waivers announced by the White House were explicitly rejected by Congress during our negotiations with the Administration", they said in a statement. He cited the administration's waiver authority among possible options.

Toner said the new restrictions were an acknowledgement that threat exists "and it's an attempt to add an extra layer of security". "They simply have to go apply for a visa at their embassy or consulate".

All of the attackers involved in the Paris violence are believed to have been European nationals - meaning they likely would have been able to travel to the USA without a visa.