WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) on Saturday, August 2, 2003, suspended two programs that allow certain international air passengers to travel through the United States for transit purposes without first obtaining a visa. The programs, known as the Transit Without Visa program (TWOV) and the International-to-International transit program (ITI), have been suspended. The action takes effect at 11:00 a.m., Saturday August 2, 2003. (Note: All times are U.S. EDT). This action does not affect U.S. citizens or citizens from visa waiver countries such as Austria.
The Transit Without Visa program has been in use in the United States since 1952. It applies to passengers who normally would be required to obtain a visa to travel to the United States. Under the TWOV program, passengers arriving in the United States from a foreign country are permitted to travel through the United States to another foreign destination without first obtaining a visa to stop and change planes in the United States. Passengers under the TWOV program go through the full border inspection process upon arrival in the U.S. Under the TWOV program, a passenger may stop at one or two U.S. airports en route to another foreign destination. If on a domestic flight to a second U.S. airport, the airline is responsible for ensuring that the passenger does not illegally enter the United States. Airlines provide contract security escorts and are required to maintain control of the passenger's passport and other travel documents.
entire article: http://www.usembassy.at/en/embassy/p...isatransit.htm
Finally !!! what took so long